When strange sounds inside their Freeman’s Hall, Trelawny, home awakened members of a family early yesterday morning, they discovered a masked gunman who was about to unleash unspeakable terror into their lives.
According to the police, Dalton Brown was at home with his common-law wife and four-year-old daughter Chloe, along with two other female relatives, shortly after 1 a.m. when he was alerted to an intruder.
He discovered a masked gunman standing in the vicinity of his bed and bravely tried to overpower the invader. During the ensuing struggle, the gunman opened fire and hit Brown in the leg, causing him to fall to the ground. He fired another round, which struck the sleeping Chloe in her abdomen, before fleeing the scene.
Brown and his daughter were taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital in the neighbouring parish of Manchester, where the child was pronounced dead and Brown admitted in serious but stable condition.
When The Gleaner visited Freeman’s Hall yesterday, scores of residents of the community, which is some three miles out from Albert Town, had gathered at the scene of the crime to offer words of comfort to Chloe’s grieving mother, who was too distraught to speak.
Superintendent Kirk Ricketts, the commander for the Trelawny Police Division, told The Gleaner that preliminary investigations are suggesting that the shooting was sparked by a family dispute.
“We have two persons in custody, a brother of the victim, Mr Dalton Brown, and another individual, who, based on information, would have been the shooter. We are pretty pleased with the results of the investigations and believe that there is a strong possibility that charges could be laid soon,” said Ricketts.
The suspected triggerman is reportedly from Kingston, but has been living in Freeman’s Hall for quite some time.
Norman Brown, one of the injured man’s brothers, confirmed that there was an ongoing feud between his brothers after ground provisions were removed from Brown’s farm last week.
The two brothers then reportedly had an altercation at a birthday celebration on Sunday.
Yesterday, Lisa Hill, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency officer for Trelawny, also turned up to offer prayers and comfort the family, along with the Reverend Owen Watson and Sergeant Wayne Wallace, the sub-officer in charge of Trelawny Community Safety and Security Branch.