Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Police 'lock down' August Town as violence continues

File photo of police officers during an operation in Kingston.

File photo of police officers during an operation in Kingston.

The police have intensified operations in August Town in response to the upsurge in violence that has claimed seven lives in a matter of weeks. 

"We have a lockdown of the area now," Senior superintendent Jacqueline Green, the officer in charge of St Andrew Central, told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills on Friday morning.

"There have been seven murders in the area since the recent flare-up but the police are responding to the situation."

The latest killing in August Town was that of 26 year-old Rushane Ellis, otherwise called ‘Shane O’ of August Town Road, Kingston 7, who was shot and killed on Thursday in Bryce Hill while three others were shot and injured. 

Reports from the Half Way Tree Police are that about 3:35 pm, Ellis and three other men were standing along the roadway when a lone gunman on foot approached and opened gunfire hitting all four men. They were assisted to hospital where Ellis died while being treated. One man was treated and released and the other two are in stable condition.

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The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) temporarily discontinued service to August Town following the shooting. The bus company took to social media to inform commuters that as a result of the incident, its buses would terminate in Papine. The bus service has now resumed to the community. 

"The area had to be cordoned off because of the shooting but I see no reason why they had to withdraw their service, because police personnel were positioned in the area, and there was no problem," SSP Green said.  

A curfew had been imposed on the community between January 27 and 28 after the flare-up in violence over the past few weeks which led to several shootings including a quadruple murder at a bar in the community.

"There is no curfew now, but the area is on lockdown, the police are in the area. I spoke to the officers at August Town yesterday, the police are remaining vigilant," SSP Green said. 

Police have theorised that the flare-up in violence stems from the release of former gangsters from prison who want to retake control of the area.

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