Police are investigating eight murders over a 12-hour period after gunmen went on a rampage in Westmoreland, the westernmost parish in Jamaica.
“We believe that we have a good idea of what is causing the problem, and we will be putting in strategies to stem this flow of violence,” said the Acting commander for the Westmoreland Police Division, Deputy Superintendent Carlos Russell.
“We will be going at the perpetrators, and I just want to warn the criminal elements in the parish that we will not be leaving any stone unturned. We will be going at them.”
Police have identified those killed between late Monday and early Tuesday as 34-year-old Corey Bankis, 23-year-old Koron Bert, a 25-year-old man, known only as Roman; 21-year-old Jamar Warren, 20-year-old Patrick Campbell, 19-year-old Renaldo Campbell and 18-year-old Eric Clarke.
The authorities have not yet released the identity of one other person shot and killed.
Police believe that the bloodbath began after Clarke was shot and killed on Monday night.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Donovan Graham, said additional resources have been brought into the parish as the police seek to arrest those responsible for the spate of murders.
““We are strategizing and compiling our intelligence for us to carry out the necessary operational response,” said Graham.
“I want to assure the residents of Westmoreland – and the country in general – that we have received additional resources in the parish and we intend to seek those who have caused the mayhem yesterday, and into this morning, as well as those others who have continued to bring violence to this division.”
Westmoreland, which was the most murderous of the western parishes with 141 murders last year, has recorded 21 since the start of this year.