ELIM, St Elizabeth – An unborn child, a 10-year-old boy, and two girls, ages 10 and 12, have been left without their fathers after a gunman shot dead three men at a party in Newtown in Elim District, Tuesday night.
The police named the deceased men as 30-year-old Denworth Teape; 33-year-old Fabian Medley; and 37-year-old Jeffery Singh.
Police say about 10:00 pm, four men were at an unauthorised party at a bar in Elim District – a community north-east of Santa Cruz – when a black Voxy motor car drove up. A man alighted from the vehicle and opened fire hitting the men. They were rushed to the Mandeville Regional Hospital where Teape and Medley were pronounced dead. Singh later succumbed to his injuries. A 20-year-old man remains hospitalised following the shooting.
Teape was the only child for his mother Mildred Rose, who described him as peaceful but stubborn.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) him cook dinner for me because I was going to make some drops (coconut cake) to leave for overseas tomorrow (today). Me eat the dinner and him ask me ‘Mommy you alright?’. Me she yes and him go bathe and go through the gate,” Rose said yesterday.
“Normally at night I call him to find out where he is, so about 10:37 pm me call him phone and it went unanswered. Me wait and call him again. Just as mi go lay down, mi get a call seh dem shoot [him] round a Newtown and him dead,” she added.
She rejected the caller’s claim that her son had been killed and headed to the crime scene.
“When me go round deh and mi see him [body], me stand up over him and me touch him. Me seh ‘Mush (Teape’s nickname) you nuh listen. Look how me talk to you and you nuh hear. See it deh now yuh meet yuh demise, because yuh nuh hear. Over and over me tell yuh seh you must stay inna the yard. If a even one night you must can stay inna the yard’. Me start to a bawl until the police came,” she said.
“Him nuh give trouble enuh. Him and people nuh inna nutten, because him just humble and soft,” she added.
She said her son had returned home to Elim due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector as he was a supervisor at a hotel.
Teape leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter.
Medley’s sister, Lisa, described him as “humble, jovial, family-oriented and easygoing”.
“He loves his children. He has a 12-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son and an unborn child. It was a shock because we weren’t expecting it. I didn’t even know that there was a party around there, so I was very surprised,” she added.
Medley’s mother, Iris Rashworth, was also shocked to hear news of her son’s gruesome murder.
She said she last saw her son after she prepared a meal for him on Tuesday.
“Him eat him dinner, kiss the baby and him leave seh him a go out. We watch him [and others] go round a the party [minutes] to 10:00 pm,” she said.
She said her other two children went to the scene as she couldn’t cope with seeing her son’s body.
“Me go call me daughter and me other son and tell dem ‘me have the baby and me can’t take fi see the scene and look on him’, so dem go,” she said.
Donovan Pagon, councillor for Braes River, the division where the incident happened, condemned the killing.
“It’s so sad to hear about this because this is a first for Elim; nothing like this ever happened [here before]. I know the citizens are shaken up over this situation. We don’t want this type of scourge in our neck of the woods,” he said.
In the meanwhile, Assistant Commission of Police (ACP) Michael Smith, who is in charge of the Area Three police division that includes Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth, is reminding the public to seek approval before hosting parties.
“[It] is standard operating procedure as it relates to the law for members (promoters) to make their applications to the relevant authority to have the approval before the permit is granted, so the members of the communities need to comply with the law,” he said.
“The police monitor those activities when they are approved. The police don’t approve these events without knowing that they have adequate officers working at the time when the events are [being] held. The problem is when [people] have these illegal parties; that is when we have a difficulty because the police do not know where they are held until sometimes some things happen,” he added.