The state-run Child Care Board (CCB) Friday expressed deep sadness over the tragic death of one of its longstanding employees.
Fifty-eight-year-old Colleen Payne of Lodge Hill, St Michael was shot while trying to use the Royal Bank of Canada’s automated teller machine (ATM) at University Drive, Black Rock, St Michael around 9 p.m. on Monday. She later succumbed to her injuries at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
In brief statement issued on Friday evening, CCB Chairman Ken Knight noted that Payne had been employed with the child protection agency for the past 36 years and had given exemplary service to the organization.
At the time of her death, she was attached to the Nightengale Day Nursery.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss . . . our thoughts and profound condolences are extended to her husband, daughter and loved ones, at this time,” Knight said, adding that “our focus continues to be that of supporting all of our staff, particularly Mrs Payne’s colleagues at the Day Nursery”.
Police are questioning three men in connection with the shooting death, which has brought to 19 the number of murders so far this year, compared to 21 for all of last year.
Just Thursday, the island’s top law enforcement officials, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, admitted to a worrying spike in gun-related murders so far this year.
Griffith told a joint news conference with Brathwaite at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City that 15 of the 19 murders this year were committed with firearms, which were used in nearly 80 per cent of murders this year.