Saturday 20 October, 2018

Taxi operator becomes the 55th murder victim in St Ann

Xavier McKenzie, who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Ocho Rios on Sunday morning.

Xavier McKenzie, who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Ocho Rios on Sunday morning.

The murder tally in the garden parish of St Ann rose to 55 when a 25-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds to his head in his car in Mansfield Heights, Ocho Rios on Sunday morning.

The deceased man has been identified as Xavier McKenzie, a taxi operator of Mansfield Heights in the parish.

Police reports indicate that at about 1:25 a.m., residents heard loud explosions coming from a section of the community.

They went to investigate and later found McKenzie inside his Toyota motorcar suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

The police were summoned to the scene and McKenzie was taken to hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead at the hospital.

The police have not yet establish a motive for the killing.

Several friends and family members have taken to social media to express sadness at the sudden demise of McKenzie.

One relative wrote: “Wow, this violence has hit home. My dear cousin Xavier McKenzie was gunned down in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. What is life? So lost at the moment. Three close people in my circle in such a short time. My dear family and friends, I genuinely love you all. Please be safe wherever you are.”

A friend wrote: “Spoke to him (Xavier) on Thursday. Now mi can’t talk to him again. You were a jovial soul. You didn’t deserve this, Xavier. Too much now in Ochi!”

Last Thursday at the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Deputy Superintendent Beresford Williams, in his police report, expressed concern about the increase in murders for the parish since the start of the year.  The tally, which was then at 54, was three more than the 51 murders that were recorded in the garden parish for all of last year.

DSP Williams also told Councillors that Ocho Rios had seen a 100 per cent increase in murders.

In the meantime, the police continue their probe into McKenzie’s death.