By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
RESIDENTS of Ethel Street say they have been left “traumatised”, “frightened” and “angry” following Sunday’s horrifying mass shooting at a birthday party that left more than ten people suffering gunshot injuries.
The tight-knit community was rocked by the incident, with relatives noting seven of the gunshot victims were relatives.
Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash yesterday told The Tribune police are following “some leads”, however up to press time Superintendent Shanta Knowles said no suspects were in custody.
According to police, 14 people were shot and three injured during the tragic incident. However, the Public Hospitals Authority has reported 15 gunshot victims were assisted at Princess Margaret Hospital.
According to police, ten of the victims were female and four were minors — the youngest of which is just ten-years-old.
Up press time, there were no fatalities and according to Health Minister Dr Duane Sands, seven people remain in hospital in stable condition.
Margaret Oliver, the grandmother of the youngest victim, told The Tribune yesterday the incident made her feel “frightened”.
Standing outside her home, where the party was held, Ms Oliver said she was inside preparing to bring food out to the festivities when the shots began.
Ms Oliver said she immediately dropped the food.
“I run from the kitchen, when I run outside, I see all kind of people on ground,” Ms Oliver said. “They…say it was a high power gun what shoot them.”
When asked about the victims, she noted some have been discharged while a few remain in hospital.
“They coming on,” she said. “They coming on…but (one) is really hurt.
“This a serious thing what happened…I hope the police deal with this, you understand? Because…it come like it was a drive-by shooting…To shoot all these people? They look like they come to kill.”
Krystal Saunders, 32, was at the party, which she said was filled with her friends and relatives.
WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
The moment of the shooting.
“We was right here in the middle of the road,” she said. “We was having fun, dancing and all we hear was ‘pap.’”
Ms Saunders said the partygoers assumed the first blast was a firework.
“When we hear the ‘pap, pap, pap’ again, everybody break off running, we realise it was gun. Most of us run in the back of this yard here,” she said, pointing. “And when we come back to the front, we meet the lil’ girl on the floor, just bodies on the floor, blood everywhere. All we could do was scream, cry, and try get everybody to the hospital. We tried calling the ambulance, but you know they is take long, so we ain’t even bother (to wait). We just rush everybody the hospital (sic).”
Meanwhile Ms Oliver said the shooting left her feeling “very frightened, angry at the same time”.
“Because it was just woman and children right here. Like, what would make somebody come out and do something like that? Because it was just kids and woman there. All the males them was down the road there. Ain’ no males them was right here for them to just come out and do some foolishness like that (sic).
“Everybody traumatised. For something like that to happen in the front here like that, and this our regular hang out spot, everybody traumatised,” Ms Oliver said.
A neighbour who wished to be identified as Ms Johnson, 37, said her 10-year-old son was also at the party.
When the shots began, Ms Johnson said: “I break off running. My daughter say ‘mummy get down, get down’, I just break off running to go look for him. That could’ve been me, that could’ve been this yard as close as it was. And it happened after 12(am).
“It makes us feel sad because we don’t have this kind of things in Montel Heights,” she continued. “First of all, strangers come and shoot lil’ children, so it really hurts…Every day they sits over there and nothing happen. They had a lil’ birthday party and spectators come and maybe they targeted the spectators? So they came and they opened fire on lil’ children.
“We just praying for the set who got hurt and hope they make a speedy recovery.”