Deadly gang developments in Denham Town, West Kingston
The recent spate of gang violence in sections of Denham Town in West Kingston and surrounding areas has been among elements from criminal networks in the area that have broken away from each other to form splinter gangs, police say.
The new development has not only triggered a new level of tension in the area, but has also made it even more difficult for cops to keep a lid on the bloodletting in the volatile criminal enclave.
“Monitoring the areas and trying to clamp down on gang activities, such as gang members attacking members of other gangs, has been a challenge, with the situation now reaching a stage where (more) gang members have switched allegiance and are now turning on each other, making it very challenging at times to place a lid on such activities,” said a senior police officer from the Kingston Western Police Division.
The police said the murders of two men in the area over the weekend were the latest deadly attacks that have left persons there on edge.
The deceased were identified as Jerome Harris, otherwise called ‘Biggie’, and Jermaine Freeman, otherwise called ‘Chromaz’, aged 31.
They were killed in separate incidents within a 24-hour period, both outside but near to the boundaries of the ongoing Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in the area.
Reports are that about 10am on Saturday, Harris, a resident of Water Lane, went to buy food at a shop on Regent Street, where he was attacked by unknown assailants who shot him in the head and other sections of the upper body.
The attackers then escaped from the area on foot.
The police were called and Harris’ body was discovered.
Less than 24 hours after that incident, gunmen went to Tulip Lane, where they attacked and shot Freeman to death.
The police suspect that the second attack was in reprisal to the one that took place on Saturday.
“In some communities there are areas that are considered borders, and areas where some persons would not venture, but what we are seeing now is that some of the attacks are taking place on gang members in areas which they would normally consider their stomping grounds,” said the senior officer.