March Pen massacre refuels gang war – Klansman split leads to murders – Men vow revenge for killings
Rudolph Brown/Photographer People look on as Sonia McDonald (in blue shirt), the mother of two of the persons killed, is hugged and comforted by a resident and Elder Omar Ricketts from Harmony Gospel Chapel, prays yesterday.
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Jennifer McDonald, (centre), whose daughter and grandchild were killed in the attack, is comforted by residents yesterday.
The killing of five people in the March Pen Road area of St Catherine yesterday may have started a war that from all indications will be bloody, leads to more loss of lives, and could threaten to shutdown the Old Capital, residents have said.
A reported in-fighting within the Klansman gang is reportedly at the heart of the killings, and according to residents, men from the community where the tragic murders occur have vowed to exact revenge on their one-time partners in crime.
The residents say the recent acquittal of a top member of the gang has refuelled a long-standing power struggle between the group’s top brass. They said the man who was recently acquitted is going against another top member, who recently returned from abroad for the gang’s leadership.
It is understood that some men from the March Pen Road area, including some close to the family who were murdered yesterday, have been aligning themselves with the acquitted member. This has reportedly angered the other top member resulting in the attack being carried out in the wee hours yesterday.
“Everybady know dem one anedda, everybady know who dweet an’ di man dem nah go tek it so, so prepare fi di worse,” one resident warned. “It look like di man dem did dun mek up dem mind that even if dem no find who dem want, people did haffi dead.”
The five killed and burnt included three children and two women. Another child and a man were also injured in the attack.
“This is wickedness, what di two-year-old could have done to deserve that? This turn di place inna ghost town,” another resident said, adding that the police might need to have a base in the area.
Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams confirmed that the return of the man who was recently acquitted has coincided with the upsurge of violence.
“We have noticed a resurgence of violence primarily in Spanish Town and surrounding communities, since the release of this area leader, the investigators are working on a strategy to deal with the problem,” Williams told THE STAR .
He pointed out that he was not saying the area leader is the cause of the upsurge, but the police are doing their investigations.
“The police have collected statements and have been made aware of the major players. They have received directives to release the names of wanted persons and persons of interest therefore we need the assistance of the citizenry to assist with solving this crime,” Williams said.
Last night, a curfew was imposed on the March Pen community and surrounding areas.