Just over two weeks after gangster Omar ‘King Evil’ Lewis was killed in their community, residents of Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, were exposed to more extreme violence on Monday night when two women were murdered and a man seriously injured in a brazen gun attack.
The deceased women are 41-year-old Cleopatra ‘Keisha’ Fletcher, a popular nail technician; and her 52-year-old customer, Dawnette Shettleworth, an employee at the Sangster International Airport. The injured man is a 43-year-old JUTA operator.
According to reports, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Fletcher, Shettleworth and the injured man were sitting in Fletcher’s salon when an unknown assailant walked into the establishment, pulled a handgun from his waistband, and opened fire. All three persons were hit.
“De man just walk inna de woman and open up gunfire and then run off,” recounted a witness, who said the killer wore a hoodie that blocked a clear view of his face. “By the time people rush inna de salon fe help, de woman dead already.”
On the night of Wednesday, October 25, when Lewis was killed, he had reportedly gone to that same salon to have his nails done. He was attacked by unknown assailants as he entered his car and was sprayed with a barrage of bullets. He died on the spot.
“Ever since that man (Lewis) was killed, I told myself that I would not be going back to that salon, because I just had a gut feeling that something else was going to happen over there,” a female resident told The Gleaner yesterday. “We are all living on the edge here in MoBay because we are all like sitting duck for the gunmen.”
While the police have not divulged a motive for Monday night’s killing, speculation is rife in the western city that it had something to do with the death of Lewis, who the police said was the leader of the Canterbury-based Nation Crocs gang. At different times in his life, Lewis figured on the police’s most wanted list both here in Jamaica and in the United States.
“Rumour a go round seh Keisha know a who kill Omar, so it look like dem decide fe silence her,” another resident told The Gleaner. “Keisha a good girl … hard-working girl … . She tek pride inna her work so her customer dem love her. It is sad fe see how she just lose her life soh.”
… The wrong place at the wrong time
Dawnette Shettleworth, apparently, was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The former Mt Salem resident was reportedly off the island at the time of Omar ‘King Evil’ Lewis’ death and wouldn’t have been a witness to it.
“Poor Dawnette … always smiling, don’t trouble a soul, and look how she just dead and gone,” one of her co-workers told The Gleaner. “Every day or every other day somebody get killed inna MoBay. Me feel like just resign my job and run weh. Me fraid fe walk de streets.”
Despite several changes in the police’s command structure and other initiatives such as the zones of special operations, marauding gangsters continue to maim and murder with impunity across St James. The parish is now in uncharted waters with a record-breaking 273 murders since the start of the year.