Veteran bandleader Gwyneth Squires has added her voice to the national debate on rising gun violence, warning fellow residents to be very careful as they go about their day-to-day activities.
In light of recent killings and attacks by perpetrators with firearms, Squires said while she did not know all the contributing factors, she was concerned that young people were simply not listening to their parents.
Squires, who are the mother of two children and also grandmother of two, said she was convinced that any move to legalize marijuana would only make matters worse.
“These young people here don’t listen,” she said, adding “sometimes I am home and when I hear children passing, when I look out, [there are] 11 and ten-year-olds [on the road] after 11 p.m. What are they doing on the road?
“Something is wrong. Something going wrong with these young people and they talking about legalizing marijuana, it gine be worse,” she warned.
“It gine be worse because these young children as young as ten years and 11 years, they don’t study their mother or father, they just go all about doing [ills],” she lamented.
Sharing a story of how a man visited her band house on Sunday evening asking for money, Squires said she suspected he wanted to rob her, based on the direction the conversation took, with him enquiring about where she had taken the money she collected for costumes.
“So you have to be very, very careful these days with who you tug with and who you mix with,” she said.
Just six days ago three teenagers accused of the murder of 58-year-old Colleen Payne, and two alleged accomplices, were remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds after appearing in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
Payne, of Lodge Hill, St Michael, was attacked and shot by two men while attempting to use an automated teller machine at the Royal Bank of Canada’s branch at University Drive, Block Rock, St Michael.
She was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance but subsequently succumbed to her injuries.
Earlier this month police arrested and jointly charged two St Michael teenagers in connection with robbery.
The two – 18-year-old Khalil Lavar Hurley of Scotts Gap, Brittons Hill and 16-year-old Ranaco Fabico Rhcard Bovell of Villa Road, Brittons Hill – were charged with robbing 57-year-old Frederick Powlett, a member of the Rhema Apostolic Deliverance Ministries International located at Brittons Cross Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael, on June 20, 2017, as he locked and secured the premises.
There have also been a number of other incidents of burglary and firearms offences involving teenagers over the past months.