More blood in Trench Town battleground
There is a thin line between life and death for residents of Trench Town in the Kingston Western Police Division, as even mere association can have fatal outcomes as a gang war between the enclaves of ‘Angola’ and ‘Zimbabwe’ heats up.
The latest bloodletting occurred on Sunday night with the murder of 36-year-old Nigel Hanson, otherwise known as Kush.
The community has been tense and police personnel have been positioned on the ground to ease the fear and concerns of the residents.
Hanson, The Gleaner understands, was known to both warring factions and was reportedly killed while the police were changing shifts.
“The police were always here. They waited until the shift change and then right away they called him out and fired shots,” a senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, referring to the slim window for the execution of the crime.
At the Ninth Street crime scene on Monday, bloodstains marked the spot where Hanson was murdered. A blood-spattered wristwatch was also on the scene.
The hostility between both sides was palpable, with plenty of blame to apportion.
Residents from Zim (shorten for Zimbabwe) claimed that Hanson, who lived there with his female companion, spent most his time in Angola.
One man appeared to be struggling with trauma, having lost several loved ones to the gang war and not wanting to become a murder statistic.
The tearful resident said that he had already lost a six-year-old granddaughter to murder in central Kingston last year.
The residents disclosed that the gang conflict had been intensified by external actors, with fighters recruited from Spanish Town, Lizard Town, and Portmore.
A shop operator told The Gleaner that he has resorted to opening his business in sync with police presence in the community.
“Everything affect me, but weh mi ago do? Mi ago make careless people stop mi from eat food, mi and my wife?” the shopkeeper questioned.
Another business operator told The Gleaner that Hanson inadvertently crossed the thin line of death by association.
“Weh yuh think? You put yourself inna trouble long time,” a resident and business operator said.
Up to March 6 this year, the Kingston Western Police Division recorded 17 murders, a 15 per cent reduction when compared to 20 killings during the corresponding period in 2021.
Shootings, year-on-year, also fell 43.5 per cent, with 13 reports compared to 23 incidents during the corresponding period in 2021.