MONTEGO BAY –– Three people are dead and two others hospitalized following a shooting at a rally of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) rally in Montego Bay last night.
Police say the dead include a known gangster, 22-year-old Javin Campbell.
The gunshots rang out shortly after 10 p.m., as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness was addressing the crowd.
He was quickly escorted from the stage as the shooting sent other politicians, as well as supporters and journalists scampering.
“The incident originated from within the crowd. It was not a case where anyone sneaked up; it happened from within the mass gathering,” head of the St James Division, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor said.
JLP general secretary Dr Horace Chang said the shooting was frightening and worrying, but said he did not want to speculate about a motive. He was quoted by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper as saying that he would “allow the police to investigate and come up with their own findings”.
“We have to take a responsible approach. We can’t allow ourselves to inflame an already bad situation,” said Chang, who told the newspaper that he knew two of the victims.
The shooting brought the JLP rally to a premature end, and Holness said he was disappointed. However, he stressed that the party’s campaign, ahead of the February 25 elections, would continue.
Before the gunplay began, the opposition leader had outlined his plans for his first 100 days in office.
He said if the JLP was elected to power, his administration would start the process of introducing legislation to establish a fixed election date and a fixed term limit for the prime minister; and hold a referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice and the buggery law.