Fri | May 7, 2021

Four killed, three injured in St James weekend crime spree

Published:Sunday | December 1, 2019 | 12:00 AMHopeton Bucknor - Gleaner Writer

Four persons were shot and killed by gunmen in St James on the weekend. 

Those killed have been identified as 18-year-old Kodie Buckingham, otherwise called Kodak, a shopkeeper of Flower Hill in Salt Spring; 32-year-old Leonard Mais, otherwise called Kenroy, a cook shop operator of Spot Valley district; 26-year-old Jason Reid, otherwise called Ryno, a fruit vendor also of Spot Valley, and an unidentified male believed to be in his 30s.

Three persons were also shot and injured and are still being treated at hospital, in serious but stable condition. 

Reports are that the four killings occurred between Friday and last night. 

"Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in murders," a policeman told The Gleaner. "But the police are on the grounds carrying out investigations into these latest killings, and so far we are making successful head ways."

The trail of killings began with the discovery of the body of an unidentified male in Lilliput about 6:30 a.m. on Friday. The body, clad in green merino and blue underpants, was found along the roadway with multiple chop wounds to the neck and hands  

In the second incident, Mais and a group of customers were seated outside his cook shop about 4:10 p.m. in the Spot Valley community when a group of men travelling in a SUV drove up.

Two men alighted with handguns and opened gunfire, hitting Mais and three of the customers before escaping in the waiting vehicle.

The gunmen then headed in the direction of the main road leading to the Cornwall community, and upon reaching the vicinity of Dunns Villa Resort, they again opened gunfire on Reid, who was selling ackees on a makeshift stall outside his gate. 

The police were summoned and upon arrival, all five victims were rushed to hospital where Mais and Reid were pronounced dead, and the other there men admitted in serious but stable condition. 

The bloodletting continued yesterday when Buckingham, shortly after closing his shop in the Flower Hill community, was shot multiple times reportedly by a lone gunman who forced his way through a back door at his house. 

Despite being under a state of public emergency, 137 persons have been murdered in St James to date, 37 more than the number recorded over the same period last year.

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