One week after Dover massacre, life has changed – forever
More than a week after a bloodbath jolted Dover in west-central St Catherine, a surveillance technician is ruing having had to cancel plans to install security cameras at one of the death scenes two Tuesdays ago, hours before the massacre unfolded.
The mainly farming community is evolving to cope with the blunt and bloody reality of criminal violence, and the increasing relevance of surveillance technology is resonating even in this quiet hamlet.
Thirty-eight-year-old haulage contractor Marcus Whyte; bartender Patricia King, 42; 67-year-old truck driver Gladstone Grange, aka ‘Bigga’; and Dennis Pryce, aka ‘Ninja’, 46, were shot dead shortly before 9 p.m. on December 10.
The killings took place in two locations about 50 metres apart in the community square.
Five others were injured.
“I was busy out west, where I do most of the set-up and installation. I regret not doing it sooner, but I was finishing up some jobs I had back that side,” said Leighton Grant, the technician, as he wired the rustic building with high-tech gadgets three days ago.
According to Grant, the killings, two of which took place at the location, prompted him to find time to install surveillance equipment to deter reprisals.
The installation is a symbol of the potential of JamaicaEye, a state-backed initiative that will allow the police to tap into footage of private business owners to capture crime and collar crooks. Despite the promotion, there has been limited buy-in by the business community.
“We find out that it helps the police with the investigation in the west (western Jamaica), so it’s the same approach in the event anything else happens around here. These cameras help to solve crime and they are very efficient,” said Grant, who has been installing cameras for 13 years.
“It’s something that every business should have.”
Closing doors for good
Meanwhile, Kenroy Green, owner of the bar where White and King lost their lives, has lost hope. He told The Gleaner last week that he was so traumatised by the attacks that he was closing his doors for good.
The dark clouds of fear that visited Dover last week still hover over its inhabitants.
“Life goes on, but it change the whole space, it change the spirit, it change everything in the community,” said the business operator who commissioned Grant. The operator, who requested anonymity, pointed to empty benches that would normally have been full – a chilling reminder of the nightmare that unfolded.
Residents told our news team that since the quadruple murder, the community shuts down after 6 p.m.
“Everybody is basically watching one another. When we see jerky lock and deh suh lock, everybody just start lock up. Once one somebody lock everybody lock,” a resident said.
During The Gleaner’s visit, several police teams combed the community – a far cry from occurrences of the past but which jittery residents want to continue.
“Me wouldn’t mind dem stay here. We just want dem presence. ... Police or soldier would make a great impact inna the community right now. Until we feel likkle bit better in a weself, but we nuh want fi a wonder where unuh deh,” a resident said to a policeman in full view of our news team.