The deceased have been identified as 68-year-old tyre repairman Glendon Nanan; 54-year-old ‘Duco man’ Carl Banhan; 24-year-old labourer Timothy Bernard; and 19-year-old Dimario McIntosh, who is unemployed — all of Bath district, Westmoreland.
Reports are that about 9:00 pm the four were at a cookshop in their normally peaceful community when four men, travelling on two motorcycles, rode onto the scene.
The two pillions, who were armed with handguns, dismounted the motorcycles and pelted the occupants of the cook shop with bullets.
Banhan, residents say, had just arrived at the cookshop, which served as his watering hole, when the attackers struck. He was the first to be cut down in a hail of bullets.
He died on his way to hospital, while the other three died instantly.
Crime scene investigators removed several 9mm spent shells from the scene.
Yesterday, bewildered residents were still trying to determine what triggered the shooting as the four men were not known to be involved in any criminal activities.
But a highly placed police source close to the investigation told the
Jamaica Observer that intelligence suggests that the intended target was not present at the time of the attack. “The four men died innocently,” the police source remarked.
In the meantime, McIntosh, the youngest victim, was said to be spinning music at the location at the time of the onslaught.
His distraught father, Wynter McIntosh, former Lucea mayor, could not come to grips with the loss of his son.
“It dread! It’s very shocking. When something like this happens to other people, you don’t know how it feels until it happens to you. It will take some time to grapple with the situation,” he said.
He added: “I am confident that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”
Meanwhile, most residents were shell-shocked in the wake of the killings, expressing that it is the first time that such a gruesome act has unfolded in their closely knit community.
“This is history. Nothing like this has ever happened here,” a woman argued.
Acting Commander of Area One, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dermont Lawrence, promised that a strong police presence will be maintained in the area.
“The murders did not happen in one of our areas of concern, but we will continue to remain visible in the community,” SSP Lawrence said.