Sunday 16 June, 2019

Pedal cyclist gunned down in Clarendon

Hoodlums continued their bloodletting in Clarendon on Saturday night, when a pedal cyclist was shot dead in York Town in the parish.

The deceased man has been identified as 40-year-old Garfield Matthews of Cherry Tree Lane in Clarendon.

Police reports are that about 8:10 p.m., Matthews was riding his bicycle when he was approached by a gunman, who opened fire at him.

The police were alerted and the wounded man was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The police are probing the killing which came on the heels of a series of heinous crimes in the parish, including another one reportedly on the same day.

Before that, on Monday, June 3, 66-year-old Patricia Harriott, a higgler of Cornpiece district in Hayes, was shot and killed during a brazen daylight attack in May Pen, Clarendon.

Reports are that she was shot and killed by an unknown assailant at the intersection of Main Street and Brooks Avenue in the town centre.

The May Pen police reported that about 5:20 p.m., Harriott was sitting at her stall when she was pounced upon by a man armed with a gun, who shot her several times before escaping.

The police were summoned and she was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Three days prior to her death, another senior citizen, 66-year-old Timothy Benjamin of Lucky Valley district, also in Clarendon, was found with his throat slashed on a roadway in his community near to his home.

The police reported that on Friday, May 31, at about 5:00 p.m., a resident stumbled upon the body and alerted the police.

Upon their arrival, Benjamin was seen lying in a pool of blood. A further examination revealed that his throat was slashed.

The elderly farmer was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

May was a bloody month for the parish, and over a two-week period towards the end of the month, close to 10 persons were murdered there.

Among those casualties was Nancy Samuels, a Cuban national of New Harbour Village, St Catherine, who was a nurse. She was stabbed to death, reportedly by an ambulance driver, at Hayes district in Clarendon on Wednesday, May 29.

The suspect in the case of her death was taken into custody by the police. It is not clear if he has since been charged.

Two days before, business operators Mark Miles, 59, and Debbie Hayman, 40, were attacked and shot to death at their business establishment at York Town in the parish.

On Friday, May 24, Sean Cunningham, a 26-year-old tailor of Effortville, Clarendon, was shot dead at the May Pen Bus Park in the town centre. The police reported that Cunningham was at a cook shop in the park, when two gunmen attacked him and fired several shots. A woman who was standing close by was also shot and injured in the incident.

Several stakeholders from Clarendon, including business operators and Clarendon Central Member of Parliament, Mike Henry, as well as other citizens of the parish, have been calling on the Government to urgently address the crime plaguing the parish by declaring a Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO) for the troubled town of May Pen, or a state of emergency for the entire parish. But so far there has been no official response to those calls.

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