Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Businessman, partner among six slain in Clarendon

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2022 | 12:10 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

After a couple was brutally murdered in Toll Gate, Clarendon, on Tuesday night, the Clarendon police sought to offer reassurance during a walk-through of William Lane and Duke Street on Wednesday, but the area was deserted, with just one man around.

According to reports, 61-year-old businessman Evan Francis and his spouse, Alicia Francis, had just arrived home in separate vehicles about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday when they were pounced upon by gunmen who killed them on the spot.

The attackers escaped in the bushes.

On Wednesday, commanding officer for the Clarendon Police Division, Senior Superintendent Carlos Russell, vowed that assailants would be brought to justice.

Preliminary information received by the police has pointed to a family land dispute as a potential motive in the murders.

“Mr Francis’s son was killed just 24 hours prior to this incident. We [were] doing our investigation prior to these matters, and we believe that we will have some success as it relates to arrest soon,” Russell said.

Evan’s son, 39-year-old taxi operator Kenrick Francis, of Spring Plain in Milk River, was found about 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday with gunshot wounds along the Spring Plain main road.

Russell said the murders were a reflection of the “callousness and our inability to deal with our issues in a peaceful way”.

He urged citizens to find peaceful ways to settle disputes.

“We are talking about family members fighting against each other,” he said.

York Town Division Councillor Uphell Purcell said the killings were “really hurtful and painful”.

Added Purcell: “It is terrible. I just think it is heart-rending for us at this time for us to really have so many guns barking upon the people of Jamaica. The citizens of York Town Division [are] really under pressure and we can’t tolerate this any longer, and I am calling on the Government to lay out a crime plan as we do not have any security,” he charged.

The Clarendon commander said the police are targeting known criminals under Operation Relentless, and he believes that in short order, things will be brought under control.

In separate incidents on Tuesday, two men were shot and killed in Content, York Town. Another man, Oshane Salmon, was killed in Bucknor, and the body of a construction worker was found at his work site in Chapelton, all in Clarendon.