(JAMAICA GLEANER) The vicious murder cycle, which has become the unfortunate new norm in Westmoreland, has churned out yet another double murder, with the killing of a common-law couple in the Bethel Town community on Wednesday night.
The two latest victims, whose deaths bring to 110 the number of persons murdered in the parish since the start of the year, have been identified as 40-year-old bar operator Kyonan ‘Speng’ McPherson and his 29-year-old bartender-spouse, Nikesha Saunderson, of Marl Road, also in Bethel Town.
According to the Bethel Town police, at about 8:30 p.m, McPherson and Saunderson were in the vicinity of the bar that they operate when they were surprised by a group of armed men, who pounced on them and opened fire, inflicting multiple bullet wounds to their upper bodies.
“De place was quiet and then we start to hear nuff shot a buss, so we tek cover,” a resident of the community told The Gleaner yesterday. “When the shooting stop and wi go check, we find out sey a Speng and him woman dem murder.”
According to the Bethel Town police, when they responded to the shooting and went to the location, they found McPherson and Saunderson suffering from bullet wounds. They were rushed to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
The tragic incident has left the community traumatised, particularly the immediate relatives of the deceased, who were very tearful when The Gleaner visited them yesterday.
“I was on my way home from church with one of my church sisters when I heard the shots,” said a woman, who identified herself as Saunderson’s aunt. “I was not really frightened because we hear gunshots in the community all the time. However, as I got closer to home, another of my niece ran to meet me and tell me that is Nikesha and her boyfriend them killed.”
According to the residents, many gangsters, who fled the state of public emergency and zone of special operation, in St James, have taken up residence in the community and are introducing lottery scamming and gun running to misguided residents.