Three men lured, killed in Mount Zion still not identified

MOUNT ZION, St James – Police investigators believe that the three unidentified men, whose bullet-riddled bodies were Saturday night discovered by residents in the middle of a road here, were lured to the area and killed by individuals they went to meet.

According to officer in charge of operations at the St James Police Division, Superintendent Eron Samuels, preliminary evidence suggests that the men were gunned down in the vicinity where the bodies were found.

“The evidence is suggesting that they were shot there,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“We still have not identified the bodies,” Superintendent Samuels said Sunday afternoon.

The police were reportedly summoned to the murder scene in the Mount Zion, St James community about 9:30 pm Saturday after passers-by stumbled upon the three bodies in the middle of a section of the main road.

One of the men was clad in green shorts and had low cut hair, while the two others were wearing jeans shorts and sported cornrow hairstyles.

The police are asking anyone missing family members to come forward to determine if they fit the identity of any of the three.

The death of the three men pushed the murder tally in the parish to 64 since the start of the year.

Hours before the triple murder, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang toured sections of Hopewell, Hanover and Mount Salem in St James, which saw a spike in murders during the week.

Mount Salem was one of two St James communities rocked by double murders last week. Three people were also killed in the Canaan section of the parish in two different attacks.

During the Mount Salem leg of Saturday’s tour, Dr Chang, who was accompanied by the police, led by Area One commander Assistant Commissioner Clifford Chambers, said the recent deadly shootings in the Mount Salem community were carried out by individuals who are remaining members of gangs that operated in that community before the declaration of a zone of special operations (ZOSO) in 2017.

According to the security minister, while the big gangs have been contained, there are still players in the lottery scam who have a lot of funds at their disposal and are financing the purchase of guns which are the weapon of choice in most of the murders.

“In the Mount Salem area, we don’t even have an identifiable big gang; it’s more community-based and family related. Everybody knows everybody but the increased activity in scamming has generated a lot of financing and, of course, there are still guns available and people are willing to use them,” Dr Chang told members of the media Saturday after touring Crawford Street and the main road in Mount Salem with members of the security forces.

Last week also, three people, including two women, were shot dead in two separate attacks in Hopewell, Hanover.