Woman bemoans silence of residents despite broad daylight shootingsWednesday, August 04, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
FOLLOWING the brazen gun slaying of her brother in Stony Hill on Monday afternoon, one woman has questioned the lack of witnesses coming forward with information on a number of murders and shootings committed in broad daylight in the community.
According to a report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the St Andrew North Division is probing the circumstances which led to the shooting death of 57-year-old Dave Nooks, otherwise called Bait, by unknown assailants on Brooks Level Road in Stony Hill. The CCU report stated that about 2:15 pm Nooks was at a bar when he was pounced upon by armed men who shot him. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
His sister told the Jamaica Observer that her brother had been shot last year and was scheduled to undergo a surgery on August 25 to remove bullets from his body.
“Nobody is dying at nights. It was just one youth who was killed one night and everybody speculated who it was. I am saying that in broad daylight these things are happening and everybody is tight-lipped. Mi just want it fi done,” she told the Observer. She said that since a twin was murdered in the community more than a year ago, male members of her family had mysteriously become targets and have either been killed or injured by gunmen.
“Two weeks ago they killed a friend of our family and they killed another young man on Brooks Level Road by the name of Kevin. Everything a come after the twin's killing. It's too much now. They killed my cousin in Stony Hill Square last year, claiming that he was the one who killed the twin.”
Very aware of the crime situation in Stony Hill, Senior Superintendent of Police Aaron Fletcher, who heads the St Andrew North Police Division, pointed to a number of challenges in fighting crime in the community. He confirmed, however, that much of the violent crimes stem from friction between two families.
The senior officer also bemoaned the unwillingness of witnesses to share information on crimes with the police.
“It's actually gang warfare. What you find is reluctance on the part of witnesses to assist the police in resolving the issue. Even when persons witnessed what happened, they don't want to talk to the police and even where there exists the technology that can capture images which can assist in the identification of suspects, persons posit all kinds of reasons and we are not readily assisted,” he said.
“There are two factions at odds with each other and they have decided to violently resolve their issues. It basically surrounds two families and then now the cronies aligned to the differing factions have been violently impacting each other, resulting in shooting injuries and murders. So far, on the last count, one of the factions lost three relatives who were shot and killed arising from this conflict,” said Fletcher.
The officer said, however, that despite the circumstances the police have been making progress in capturing criminals and seizing illegal firearms.
“The police have made significant gains on the factions. We have arrested and charged parties involved in the conflict and we have recovered firearms from persons involved in the conflict, but the situation is that the main perpetrators remain elusive. This conflict emanates from the Airy Castle community and the Brooks Level Road community and the guys take their issues to the town in Stony Hill because people are usually gathered there,” he said.
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