(Jamaica Gleaner) Shock waves reverberated around the local political fraternity yesterday as news spread of the killing of Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield.
With reports of his death sparking widespread speculation across the island, the Police High Command quickly assembled a team of senior investigators from the Major Investigation Division to take control of the probe into the killing.
Up to press time, there was little official word from the police except to confirm that the two-term MP had been found inside his house in Passley Gardens, Portland, about 10:30 yesterday morning with multiple stab wounds.
But Sunday Gleaner sources claimed that Bloomfield’s nude body was found by his helper, who saw the door to the house open when she arrived for work.
The sources said a trail of blood led from the bathroom, where the shower was running, to Bloomfield’s lifeless body.
Senior members of the Portland police yesterday refused to comment on the reports about the condition in which the body was found. They also refused to comment on claims that there was no sign of forced entry and that a black vest had been found in bushes near the house.
But persons on the scene pointed our news team to two persons, reportedly the helper and the gardener, who had seen the body and summoned the cops.
According to reports, the gardener turned up to cut the MP’s yard about 8 a.m. and noticed that the front door and grille were open, but he ignored this and went about his duties.
Some two hours later, the helper arrived and entered the house. Her screams caused the gardener to run inside the building, where he also saw the body.
As news of the killing spread, a massive crowd of Portlanders rushed to the scene to try to get a glimpse of the man who, running on a People’s National Party (PNP) ticket, defeated the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Patrick Lee by 1,253 votes in the 2011 general election.
Bloomfield retained the seat in 2016 despite his party’s defeat in the election, as he polled 8,580 votes to the JLP’s Derron Wood 6,345.
Yesterday, the political dividing line was erased as PNP and JLP supporters on the scene paid tribute to Bloomfield.
“It came as a shock to me,” said Dexter Rowland, councillor for the Port Antonio division and a staunch backer of his fallen Comrade, who some wanted to oust as the PNP’s standard-bearer in the constituency.
“I spoke to him on Friday around 3 p.m. I tried calling him Friday night, but his phone rang without any answer. I also tried to contact him again by phone this morning (Saturday), but the phone rang unanswered, which was quite unusual.
“When I first heard about the incident I was numb. He (Bloomfield) was one of the most kind, loving, caring, and happiest human beings that I know. I am still in shock,” added Rowland.
Fellow PNP councillor, Wayne McKenzie, who represents the Prospect division and opposed Bloomfield during a run-off with attorney-at-law Andrea Moore some three years ago when she challenged the sitting MP for the right to represent the party in the 2016 general election, was also in shock.
“He was a wonderful person, who was always calm,” McKenzie told The Sunday Gleaner.
“His death is quite shocking and should never happened to a person like Bloomfield, who was kind-hearted and jovial. He was a wonderful human being, and despite our differences during that run-off, he was a gentleman, who extended kindness to many,” added McKenzie.
He was joined by MP for Portland Western, the JLP’s Daryl Vaz, who toldThe Sunday Gleaner that he was devastated at the news of the death of his parliamentary colleague.
“He was a gentle, humble human being. One of the most likeable MPs in Parliament. We had a pact to put aside politics and work together in the interest of the people and parish of Portland always, and we did that right up the time of his untimely and horrific death.
“I am hopeful that the police will work swiftly to establish the motive and the perpetrator or perpetrators,” said Vaz.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips also expressed regret at the murder of Bloomfield.
According to Phillips, the entire membership of the PNP was shocked, shaken and saddened by the news of the tragic death of Bloomfield.
Phillips noted that Bloomfield devoted many years of his life in service to the Jamaican people as a medical practitioner and as an elected representative.
“No Jamaican should ever have to suffer at the hands of criminals in their own country. The death of Dr Bloomfield must not be allowed to go unpunished. The police must employ whatever resources necessary to conduct a full and complete investigation, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” said Phillips.
He argued that the wanton acts of criminality across the country leave too many individuals and families in mourning, and rob the nation of its best potential.
“This is indeed a very sad day in the history of our country as we are now dealing with the stabbing death of a sitting member of parliament in his home by unknown assailants,” added Phillips, as he extended condolences to Bloomfield’s family, friends and associates.
For Holness, the killing of Bloomfield had plunged the entire Government and political directorate into mourning.
“This is a shock to all of us. We are all devastated. Dr Bloomfield was a very gentle and humble man and one of the nicest human beings I have encountered in politics,” said Holness, as he extended condolences on behalf of the Government and the JLP to the family, friends and colleagues of Bloomfield, who once limped his way into Parliament after hurting his hip in a fall in his constituency.
Bloomfield was 59 years old at the times of his death.