I Cannot Come To Grips With What Is Happening In Westmoreland

Several people have messaged me about the recent massacre that occurred in Grange Hill. – I know all the victims.

Earlier this week, it was reported that seven individuals including a two-year-old were shot dead by gunmen in separate incidents in Grange Hill, Westmoreland.

They were identified as 21-year-old Nicoy Myers, Odane Drummond, Nadine Rowe and her 11- year-old son, Nicoy Bourne, Sheldon Morgan Snr and his 2 year-old child, Sheldon Morgan Jr, and 22-year-old Tristan Brown.

Sheldon’s mother and my mother were close, they grew up together. My aunt Vivienne and Kerine (Sheldon’s mom) were best friends. Sheldon was a quiet youth and a great father, I am saddened by his demise. The people that died are no strangers to me, I am liable to go on the road and bump into any of them at any given moment. Nadine’s mother and my grandmother attend the same church. I cannot come to grips with what has happened.


I am known in the literature sphere as a criminal sympathiser and ghetto people defender. Poor people advocate because of the stories I write and the belief I have that ghetto people are not so bad. They are able to be rehabilitated, if given an opportunity for advancement. Someone once told me, one day I would learn how ghetto people will repay my loyalty.

She told me: “These boys you want to help will hurt you without a second thought!”
“Bad man place, the guns unoo a boast pon soon turn on unoo!”

I am a child of that process, a daughter of unborn opportunities, therefore I understand the struggles. I know how difficult it can be to stay on the desired path when obstacles abound. I know a lot of good people in the ghetto, – nurses, teachers, hotel supervisors, successful business people, some of us are more than whores and ratchets, gun men and scammers.

We get overshadowed, our success downplayed by what is happening around us. 
For all the good that has come out of Grange Hill – including Elombe Calvert, a med student at the University, Peter Tosh – who was born at Church Lincoln and myself plus many successful denizens, it’s disheartening to see my community in the headlines for this reason.

It makes me wonder, if the local exposure, I desire will only be achieved through death.
Ask any of these youths who is Keon Yankee Sonlin (owner of Yardies Restaurant in United States), Elombe Calvert, Renee DeLeon, Dave Mckenzie, Doctor Nicole Miller, Pastor and lecturer Nashane Evans. Very few people know Grange Hill has a bestselling author, most young people don’t even know who Sir Clifford Campbell is, but every youth know who a top scamma and top shotta.

Where do we go from here?
Keep my community in your prayers.
My heart is broken.

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Crystal Evans

Crystal Evans was born in Westmoreland Jamaica. She is the author of several books centered on her experiences growing up in rural Jamaica and the Jamaican cultural nucleus. She is a voracious reader.