Bunting expresses outrage at East Kingston Valentine’s Day shootings

KINGSTON, Jamaica — National Security Minister Peter Bunting has condemned Friday night’s killing of two people, including a 17-month-old baby, and the reprisal shooting of two residents in the East Kingston community of McIntyre Villa.

“Our children are to be protected and are not to be used as pawns in furthering criminal agendas,” Bunting said as he expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims and pledged the full support of the Police to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Communities must resolve that their children will not be slaughtered, and to work with the Police to purge their communities of criminal elements,” the Minister added.

Reports are that in the first incident, which occurred about 10:15 pm, a group of residents from Banana Street in the community also known as Dunkirk was having a Valentine’s Day party when heavily armed gunmen from Bryden Street invaded the party.

The men opened gunfire at the group, killing a man and the 17-month-old child.

The police say moments later, men from Banana Street armed themselves and went to Bryden Street where they kicked open a door to a house where a woman lived with her two-month-old baby.

The gunmen allegedly shot the father and the mother in their quest to exact revenge. The baby who apparently was also their target, escaped uninjured.

“I am appealing to residents of Banana Street, Bryden Street and all of East Kingston to say what you know. Now is your chance to make a change and to get rid of the criminals who are bent on bringing death and destruction to you, your family and community,” Bunting said.

“As long as illegal guns are present in communities, all residents, including our children are at risk,” he added.

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