Mount Carey, St James – The St James police are maintaining a strong presence in the Top Hill section of this rural community following three murders since the beginning of this year, allegedly linked to a bitter feud among family members who have reportedly split into two factions, due to disagreements over spoils gained from the illegal lottery scam.
“It’s family members who have risen up against each other out of minor issues, money-related issues, scamming issues. We will have 24-hour police presence here [Top Hill] to deal with this situation,” Commander of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor disclosed.
“It is an internal feud that exists among family members on this side of Mount Carey. Since the beginning of the year we have had three murders that are linked to this family as it relates to the feuding that is taking place.”
The most recent murder was that of 34-year-old sound-system operator Neto Murray, who died in hospital Tuesday morning after he was shot by a group of men who pounced upon him while he was on his way to a shop along a section of a roadway in the community about 8:10 pm.
Murray was not biologically connected to any member of the divided family, but was said to have been killed because of his association with the sound system, allegedly operated by a member of one of the rival factions.
Following Murray’s killing, there has been a steady exodus of some family members from the community, who expressed fear for their lives.
As a result, three houses are now vacant in the community.
“We can confirm that some of the family members have left the area,” the divisional commander revealed.
SSP McGregor, who led the police on a tour of the community on Tuesday, urged the residents to end the tit-for-tat killing and allow the police to carry out their work.
“I want to appeal to the family members to now leave it to the police, because it is obvious that they can’t settle the differences that they are having within the family,” SSP McGregor implored.
He also released the identities of some men who hail from the community who he said might be able to assist the police in their probe into the ongoing feud.
They are: Shevaughn McPherson, also called ‘Paulo’; Stevon Wynter, also called ‘Baba’; Stephen Morgan, Oshane McPherson, also called ‘Reds’ or ‘One Don’; Oshane Walker, also called ‘Size Ten, and Stitch’, as well as others who go by the aliases of Chicken, Baffamet, Boysie and Breddie.
McGregor said in addition to the Police Community Safety team, other agencies have been approached to work with the grieving family members.
“We are bringing in other agencies to assist, the PMI [Peace Management Initiative], the Victim Support Unit, CSJP [Citizen Security and Justice Programme] and our counselling section are also here. My Community Safety team is also here 24/7 working with the family members who are hurting right now. But I reiterate that the family will have to play an integral part in the settlement of what is happening here,” SSP McGregor explained.
Meanwhile, a grieving Robert Lungren Snr, whose son, Robert Lungren Jnr, is numbered among the three people killed during the rift, has called for a halt to the bloodletting.
“What is going on is not right, it needs to stop. And the young guys, you need to get up and learn a skill, the easy living not going to pay off. Work hard for what you want. I am telling you from the heart. I am hurting,” lamented the teary-eyed elder Lungren.