3-year-old girl latest murder victim in Jamaica

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The family of a three-year-old girl who was shot dead in Annotto Bay, St Mary, are still trying to come to terms with her gruesome murder.

The child — Kalesia Matthews, who is also known as Pooka — was killed on Cane Lane as she walked home with her stepfather on Wednesday night.

“I am trying to cope,” Kalesia’s mother Monique said yesterday.

She said her daughter was killed metres away from her, as she was a short distance behind the child and her stepfather.

“I was on the lane going down, but they reach down before me,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The family was reportedly returning from a function in the community, when a gunman opened fire at the stepfather and little Kalesia. She was taken to the Annotto Bay Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A distressed Joyce Chambers cried as she spoke of her granddaughter yesterday.

“She wanted to stay by me, sleep in my bed with me. Pooka was so full of life. It’s so sad that… Pooka has been taken away brutally. It’s so sad, so really, really sad,” Chambers said, choking back tears.

Head of the Area Two Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police Norman Heywood said yesterday that a motive has not yet been established for the killing.

“At this stage we are not able to provide a motive for the shooting. The detectives are investigating all angles to find out if the attack was against a particular member of the family, or what could have led to the attack.

“…We are just appealing to anyone who might have any evidence or information that could lead to an early breakthrough in this case to come forward and speak to us,” ACP Heywood said.

Since the start of the year, St Mary has recorded six murders and according to the ACP, most of these murders were committed in the Annotto Bay area of the parish.

Last year, the community recorded several murders, including a double murder in December and a triple murder in August.

“It is a concern. Annotto Bay is high on our watch list now,” ACP Haywood said. “We are stepping [up] operational activities there.”

Earlier this month, one victim — restaurant operator Miguel Pottinger — was shot dead in the Bottom Bay community of Annotto Bay.