Jamaica Observer LUCEA, Hanover — Five people, including a father, his son and a casket maker, were shot dead and another person injured in Hanover during three attacks within a bloody 18 hours.

The first shooting took place about 2:30 am on Thursday and the last one about 9pm.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has linked the attacks to community-based conflict involving some players who cops previously had in custody but had to release because residents were reluctant to provide information needed to get convictions in the courts.

“There seems to be some conflict between small families and districts in the Lucea area and we have to increase our activity. I leave that operational response to the police,” the minister told the Jamaica Observer.

Head of the Area One Police Senior Superintendent Glenford Miller comforts Marlene Nation whose son and grandson were killed Thursday night during an attack that left another man dead.

“It is fortunate that the players are known. Some of them were in lock-ups, but in our context, we have to release them until we can get a conviction,” added Dr Chang.

He was speaking with the Observer in the Lucea Transportation Centre following a visit to the facility and the Johnson Town community on Friday. He had travelled to Johnson Town to comfort Marlene Nation, whose son and grandson — 41-year-old Merrick Calvin and his 23-year-old son, Merrick Calvin Jr — were gunned down alongside Jew Hill resident Michael Collins.

According to police reports, the men were at an under-construction bar in Johnson Town around 9:00 pm when they were approached by two armed men in dark clothing who had travelled to the location on a motorcycle. The Calvins and Collins were shot in their upper body. Another person was left nursing gunshot wounds.

Hours earlier, shortly after 1:00 pm, 43-year-old casket maker Robert Williams from Harding Hall was killed at his business place. The police said he was approached by a man with a gun who opened fire, hitting the businessman in the upper body before escaping. Williams reportedly died on the spot.

Head of the Area One Police Senior Superintendent Glenford Miller comforts Marlene Nation whose son and grandson were killed Thursday night during an attack that left another man dead.

By then the day had already got off to a bloody beginning with 35-year-old Terron “Copper” Hart from Lances Bay fatally shot about 2:30 am. The police have indicated that Hart was shot at a bar in the Lucea bus park. He had driven his silver Axiom motor car to the location.

On Friday the security minister, accompanied by Member of Parliament for Hanover Western Tamika Davis and the recently assigned officer in charge of the Hanover Police Division, Deputy Superintendent Andrew Nish and his team, sought to assure residents of the usually quiet Lucea that efforts were being made to stop the blood-letting.

“I came to reassure the community of our commitment to give the police full support to operate and take necessary steps to stem the tide of violence that emerged in the town,” Dr Chang told the Observer.

He appealed to residents, as he has often done in the past, to tell the police what they know so that perpetrators can be apprehended and successfully convicted in the courts. “I’m going to repeat to citizens to use the confidential lines and inform the police [of] what’s happening,” stated Chang.

“Allow the police to apprehend and prosecute and avoid retaliation,” he appealed.

Since the start of the year, Hanover has recorded 28 murders in comparison to 31 for the corresponding period last year.

Top Feature Photo: Marlene Nation, whose son and grandson were gunned down on Thursday night in Hanover, is being comforted by National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang (right) and members of Jamaica Constabulary Force on Friday