- Residents still fearful
Ryan ‘Ratty’ Peterkin’s reign of terror in the Cambridge and Retrieve areas of South St. James came to a crashing end on Saturday when he was cut down in a daring confrontation with the security forces. One of his alleged cronies was also shot and killed.
Named among the nation’s top five Most Wanted earlier this year, ‘Ratty’ reportedly fled his place of safety following the enforced State of Public Emergency, established in St. James back on January 18.
Reports are that a joint police/military team went to a house in Berkshire, St. Elizabeth, to issue an arrest warrant for Peterkin. On the approach of the arrest team, the fugitive and another man opened fire and attempted to evade capture. A shooting confrontation ensued and Peterkin and his accomplice were shot.
The two men were pronounced dead at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital. One AK47 rifle with two magazines and 12 live rounds, as well as one .38 Revolver, were recovered from the scene. The matter has been reported to the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).
Peterkin, the reputed leader of the notorious ‘Ratty Gang’, which has been linked to several murders committed in the parish, held the area under siege up until January this year and had managed to evade the police dragnet on numerous occasions.
The gang purportedly invaded a house in Cambridge last year and killed Ann-Marie Johnson, 44, and her 24-year-old daughter Shantoy McKenzie, after the mother and daughter were said to have been engaged in a dispute with the gangsters over goats and chickens.
Late last year, the gangsters are reported to have shot up police vehicles on three separate occasions and had begun to extort residents of the area.
Reports have also surfaced that a bitter dispute between Ratty and one of his lieutenants led to a splintering of the gang and the killing of four of his relatives.
In the meantime, residents are said to be still fearful as splinter groups are suspected to still be lurking undercover in and around the area.