Four homeless men hacked to death in Jamaica, person of interest detained

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(File)
(File)
PHOTO: iStock
  • Jamaican police have detained a suspect in connection with attacks on homeless men in Kingston, in which four were hacked to death.
  • Six men in total were attacked, but two survived with critical injuries. All suffered chop wounds to the head.
  • Several years ago, homeless men were the victims of a pattern of similar attacks, killed while they were sleeping.


KINGSTON – Jamaican police said on Tuesday they had detained a person of interest as part of their investigation into an attack over the weekend on six homeless men in Kingston, in which four were hacked to death and two critically injured.

While Jamaica has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, the attack was particularly grisly. All suffered chop wounds to the head and the two who survived were in a critical state, police said.

More worrying still to the local homeless population, this was not the first such occurrence and could be the work of a serial killer.

Several years ago, homeless men were the victims of a pattern of similar attacks, killed while they were sleeping, said Dennis Brooks, a spokesperson for the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

"We will spare no effort in investigating the heinous and barbaric murders of these men who are among our society's most vulnerable," Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said.

Always a level of fear

Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie said the incident was a reminder "to ensure that the vulnerable among us are never seen or treated as expendable", urging the homeless population to stay in shelters.

Some were defiant, though, and preferred the relative freedom of the streets over the constraints of shelters.

Lying on some cardboard on a city sidewalk, flanked by two shopping bags full of possessions, Zenas Gayle, 55, said he would not consider going to a shelter although there was always a level of fear from living on the streets of Kingston.

"But if anybody goes for me (attacks me), I will go back," he said.

Over 1 300 people were murdered last year in Jamaica, with gang violence to blame for much of the violence, and several communities remain under a state of emergency, under constant watch by security forces.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
37% - 2431 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 1747 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2428 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.09
(-0.16)
ZAR/GBP
21.02
(-0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.22
(-0.19)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(-0.25)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.54)
Gold
1734.50
(+0.02)
Silver
26.67
(+0.05)
Platinum
1186.51
(+0.42)
Brent Crude
64.40
(-2.56)
Palladium
2310.00
(+0.58)
All Share
66138.05
(-1.99)
Top 40
60754.30
(-2.11)
Financial 15
12200.05
(-1.09)
Industrial 25
86144.34
(-0.81)
Resource 10
67459.85
(-4.14)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo