Sunday 9 December, 2018

Contract hit suspected in murder of pastor - cop

Police say they are following several leads into the case where 29-year-old pastor,  James Johnson was shot and killed by a gunman at a church on Old Harbour Road in St Catherine on Thursday evening.

One of the leads suggest that the pastor fell victim to a contract killing, a senior policeman, from the St Catherine North Police station, told Loop News over the weekend.

“We are hearing a number of things on the ground and as we step up our investigation we will be looking at all angles and will not be dismissing any reports and one of the claims we are hearing suggest that his (Johnson’s) killing was a hit,” said the police officer who asked not to be named.

Police said they have also received information that the man who shot and killed the pastor had trailed the clergyman to the location.

“One of the reports we are hearing is that the attacker followed the pastor to the location,” the officer said.  

Reports from the Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) are that about 5:00 p.m., Johnson was preparing to teach a class with students at the church when a lone gunman entered the building and opened fire, hitting the pastor.

The man then fled the area.

Johnson was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The killing of the pastor has left scores of Jamaicans in shock. Several social media users have not only condemned the attack but said they were still trying to find answers as to why someone would want to harm the clergyman.

The attack comes little over a month after another member from the church community, Arnie Francis, a co-pastor from a church in St Andrew, was attacked in what police said was another suspected contract killing.

Police say the 54-year-old church member who is also a businessman and manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew was attacked and shot as he entered his home in Mona on August 9.

Police said there is no link between both cases.

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