Investigators believe female cabbie's death may have been caused by her 'lifestyle', alleged association with a gangThursday, April 08, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
SPRING MOUNT, St James - The St James police are theorising that Tuesday's killing of a female taxi operator by a gunman posing as a passenger could have been triggered by her lifestyle or her alleged association with a gang operating in the Dam Road area of John's Hall in the parish.
Family members have given the identity of the deceased as 26-year-old Tamra Higgins of Burnt Ground Road, Spring Mount, St James.
“Investigators have highlighted that her demise might have been as a result of her lifestyle or her alleged involvement with a gang in the Dam Road community which is in feud with the Coconut Walk community,” head of the Area One Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers, told the Jamaica Observer West yesterday.
The senior cop pointed out that the conflict between the rival gangs has led to “a couple murders since the start of the year”.
“Actually the double murder we had in January stemmed from the rivalry between these two factions.”
Reports are about 7:00pm Higgins was traversing her usual route from downtown Montego Bay to Spring Mount, when upon reaching the Peggy Road section of Tucker, the last passenger in the black Toyota Voxy vehicle asked for a stop.
The passenger and Higgins, reportedly, both stepped out of the vehicle and while she opened the trunk to remove his luggage, he opened fire hitting her several times. She, reportedly, died on the spot.
When the Jamaica Observer West news team visited Higgins' home yesterday, her distraught mother, Beverly Gordon Bowen, was trying her best to conceal her grief.
She stressed that she has no idea what would have caused her daughter's demise.
The bereaved mother, who is a retired taxi operator, recounted that her daughter had to visit the doctor on Tuesday after complaining of a severe headache.
“Yesterday [Tuesday] morning she [Tamra] carried a bus for her boss to the garage and returned to take her bus. During the day, she come and she said, 'Mommy put mi phone to charge because mi phone [battery] dead and mi boss is going to call, but mi head hurting mi and mi going to doctor,' and she left,” recalled the grief-stricken mother.
Gordon Bowen shared that she last saw her daughter alive when she eventually returned home in the afternoon and took her phone before heading back on the road.
“The next call mi get mi hear she dead,” she wailed.
Cabbie, Mark Chambers, a friend of the family, who was also at the home during the visit by the Observer West, shared that after Tamra came from the doctor, she told him that she was diagnosed with “low blood pressure and diabetes”.
Tamra's mother said her daughter, who leaves behind a six-year-old girl, will be sadly missed.
“She [Tamra] sleeps on my bed with me at night. She is going to be missed,” said
Since the start of the year, there has been a, roughly, 23 per cent increase in murders in St James, when compared to the corresponding period last year.
According to ACP Chambers, up to the end of March this year, there have been 80 homicides in the parish, when compared to 52 over the same period in 2020.
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