Murderous St. James

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Andy Chin
  • Popular businessman among five killed

Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter

Security Forces have sought to tighten the screws in the Western City of Montego Bay with additional security personnel, as residents and business interests are yet to come to grips with the murder of popular and well-loved businessman, Andrew ‘Andy’ Chin, and four other persons, including a woman, in the past four days.

The other victims are 20-year-old Vardian Banton, otherwise called ‘Jason’ of Robert Reid Drive, Glendevon; twenty-nine-year-old Conrad Lawrence, otherwise called ‘Forty’of Belfont, Catadupa; 37-year-old Suzette Reid, vendor of Lindo’s Hill, Whithorn, Westmoreland and an unidentified man, also of Belfont.

This photo captures the early morning scene of a section of Gut Bottom in Granville, which was cordoned off as two policemen stand guard in front of the location where Banton was gunned down in the wee hours of Monday morning when the sound of high-powered weaponry was heard.

The top brass of the security forces has pledged to ramp up their efforts to make downtown Montego Bay safer as questions are swirling regarding the effectiveness of the State of Emergency, which was re-imposed in April. It does not, however, seem to be having its intended impact, as violence producers have continued their onslaught, pushing murder figures to 92 since the start of the year from 67 the same time last year.

The police in the meantime, reported that in the early hours of Saturday morning about 4 o’clock, Chin, who operated a cash Pot shop at Sunshine Plaza along Church Street in Montego Bay, was held at gunpoint by three men who took him to his house at Mango Walk and carried out a search there.

It is further reported that the men later took him to his business place along Church Street where his firearm, vehicle and a safe with cash were stolen. The men then opened fire at him, hitting him several times.

The police were summoned and later transported Chin to the hospital from where the body was sent to the morgue. 

 Chin’s murder continues to reverberate among the business community and citizens who continue to hail him as a kind and helpful citizen.

The police, who have cited that the investigations are at a preliminary stage, are hoping to make an early breakthrough in the case.

BLOODLETTING CONTINUES

The bloodletting, however, started on Friday when about 10p.m., Lawrence was at his gate at Belfont, when he was pounced upon by a group of men armed with guns who opened fire at him.

Residents alerted the police who came to the community but did not find Lawrence.  It was hours later that his lifeless body was discovered by residents.

While the police received a respite on Sunday, they were again called to the scene of another homicide on Monday as about 12:30 a.m., residents of Gut Bottom in Granville heard explosions believed to be gunshots and summoned the police.

The lawmen who came did not find anything unusual and left.

It was not until about 6:30 a.m. that residents stumbled upon Banton’s lifeless body and again called the police who came, processed the scene and had the body removed to the morgue.

The community of Belfont was the scene of another murder on Monday where the police reported that an unidentified man was shot and killed about 10 a.m. by unknown assailants.

Meanwhile, detectives assigned to the Montego Bay Police Station are awaiting the post mortem results to determine the cause of death of 37-year-old Suzette Reid, vendor of Lindo’s Hill, Withorn, Westmoreland, whose body was found in the upscale community of Westgate in the parish on Monday.

 It is reported that about 3:00 p.m., residents stumbled upon the body of Reid and summoned the police. On the arrival of the lawmen Reid was seen lying face down in bushes.

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