Seven persons were shot in Montego Bay on Sunday (March 22), including the young daughter of dancehall entertainer Tommy Lee Sparta, again bringing the tourism capital into a new round of fear and uncertainty.
Four of the shootings took place in Flanker while the other three were on the famed Hip Strip, which was recently renamed the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard. One person reportedly died.
For residents and stakeholders, already grappling with the lockdown of the airport and seaport and also the closure of all of the major hotels, this is just another sad reminder of how far the city is away from returning to any semblance of normalcy.
“Wow,” is how Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett reacted to the news and without offering any other comment. Others though couldn’t contain their dismay, noting how, even amid the fear of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, that gunmen could be so brazen as to unleash their terror in broad daylight.
“This is as brazen and as callous as you get,” said Mount Salem, St James teacher Angella Brown, whose community has been classified as a Zone of Special Operations going on two years. “We are not only under a COVID-19 threat but we are also under a State of Emergency and now this.”
President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Janet Silvera, while decrying the report as both frightening and disturbing, said she will be meeting with her members before offering an official response.