MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Police in St James have launched a manhunt for the shooters who sprayed a bus returning from a funeral, killing one female passenger and injuring five others Sunday night in Orange, St James.
The deceased has been identified as 54-year-old Jacqueline Bowen of Orange.
A swift response from a team of police and soldiers that was in the area resulted in the seizure of a high-powered rifle which was dropped by the shooters who abandoned the motorcycle on which they were travelling and ran into bushes.
Police reported that about 8:30 pm mourners were returning from a funeral in a Toyota Coaster bus when the vehicle, on reaching the Orange main road, was greeted with a hail of bullets fired by two men travelling on a motorcycle.
Six passengers who were shot were taken to hospital, where Bowen was pronounced dead. The others were admitted in stable condition.
A joint police-military team pursued the bikers who fled leaving the motorcycle and rifle behind.
The police say the shooting stems from an ongoing gang feud. The rival factions are said to have cousins on opposing sides.
According to commander of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth, Bowen allegedly has a son connected to one of the factions, while a nephew of hers is aligned to the other side.
Meanwhile, the head of the St James Police Division says Kevin Hemmings, who also goes by the moniker “Skelly”, can assist in the investigations. He is asking Hemmings to come in and speak to the police.
Sunday night’s killing pushes the murder tally in the parish to 143 since the beginning of this year, which is 13 fewer than the number recorded over the corresponding period last year.