Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Women under the gun in bloody start to October

Published:Tuesday | October 3, 2023 | 12:10 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Sophia Drummond was killed Monday, along with her daughter.
Sophia Drummond was killed Monday, along with her daughter.
Thirty-one-year-old Anique Walters. She was killed Sunday night on Orange Street.
Thirty-one-year-old Anique Walters. She was killed Sunday night on Orange Street.

The month of October began exactly as September ended, with women being murdered by the gun and in multiples.

Yesterday, breakfast services, usually catered by a mother and daughter duo on the outskirts of the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) Spanish Town Road offices, did not reach their intended and usual customers after the women were murdered before the start of business.

They have been identified as Sophia Drummond, an employee of the NSWMA, and her daughter, Dominic Duhaney.

Police say the two were ambushed and shot by gunmen about 5:10 a.m.

They died on the spot.

The investigators say they are probing several avenues to arrive at a possible motive.

The Gleaner understands that all was perhaps not well with Drummond at her workplace, and she was very vocal about it, even using her social media account to air her grouses in a series of posts.

On June 16, she wrote, “Too much politics at the National Solid Waste Management Auth.”

Then, a day later she wrote, “Why should my political affiliation affect my job ... MPM is now a political arena/asylum ... .”

MPM, or Metropolitan Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited, is the regional branch of the NSWMA which services the Corporate Area.

Drummond, who has reportedly been employed to the NSWMA for more than two decades, suggested that she was being victimised for her political affiliation.

“I have been at mom for over 20 years for working in the office to route coordinator to team leader to office again now am supposed to go sit at the Riverton City dump due to politics and there is no one to speak to because I am a PNP [People’s National Party] supporter. This country is doom,” she also posted June 17.

The Gleaner visited the Norman Gardens community in east Kingston where the two lived together. However, neighbours, while in shock, were tightlipped.

NSWMA Executive Director Audley Gordon confirmed that one of the victims was employed to the agency.

Operations were affected by the incident and Gordon said that, while the agency wants to continue its work, efforts are focused on supporting traumatised staff.

“We don’t believe, and we have no reason to believe that this is an attack on the NSWMA staff in general. So we want everyone to remain calm,” he said.

Other divisions were far from calm as several other women were reportedly murdered in the last 24 hours.

Investigators in the St Andrew Central Police Division are probing the murder of 31-year-old Anique Walters, daughter of PNP councillor-candidate for the Admiral Town division, Louise ‘Pumbles’ Newland.

Another man was also shot in the incident, which took place about 10:45 p.m. Sunday on Orange Street, in the vicinity of Orange Villa.

In the St Catherine North Police Division, two higglers were executed early Monday.

Police say a woman and a man, believed to be vendors at the Coronation Market, were killed behind a bus stop.

Residents heard explosions sometime after 3 a.m., but the bodies were not found until sometime after 7 a.m. yesterday.

Meanwhile, for the last week of September, the nation was rocked by a series of acts of violence against women with a series of murders, including a quadruple murder involving three women.

On September 23, a woman who reportedly visited the island for a funeral was killed at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens.

She was not immediately identified.

On September 26, Kerrian Higgins, Dorothy Higgins and Diane Johnson were murdered in Crawle district, Riversdale, in St Catherine.

A man, known only as Junior, was killed in that incident.

Last Friday, Audrey Hinds, former president of the Craft Market Association, was shot dead at the Kingston Craft Market.

The Gleaner was told that the lone gunmen approached and asked for her by name before she was shot repeatedly.

On Saturday, the last day of September, a Grants Pen woman, a teacher in training, was abducted and taken to an area in the St Andrew South Police Division where she was shot in the head and left for dead.

She remains hospitalised.

The Gleaner repeatedly requested from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) data on the total number of women murdered in 2022 to no avail.

As of midnight last Thursday, data obtained by The Gleaner shows that 1,031 murders were recorded nationally since the start of the year.

This represents a 12 per cent reduction year-on-year.