Former MLA and owner of Lornaâ€™s Texaco, Osbourne Bodden, and fellow businessman Robert Watler yesterday doubled the police reward for information about attackers who shot station employee Medsadie Connor in a 13 July attempted robbery.
At a Bodden Town press conference yesterday, Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis accepted the Bodden-Watler offer to match the 15 July $20,000 police reward, saying he was grateful for the community effort.
â€śWe are doing whatever it takes to get someone to come forward. We are relying on all avenues and our resources,â€ť said the Deputy Commissioner.
â€śFear paralyses. There must be someone whom you can trust. We have Crimestoppers, maybe you could trust your pastor, or talk to the police service, myself or the commissioner or someone you can trust.
â€śWe can not allow this fear to paralyse us into doing nothing. Nothing is not an option. We canâ€™t have people working for 15 years and then getting shot. Enough is enough. We cannot have this.â€ť
It comes as iNews produces a â€śWANTEDâ€ť poster and urges our readers to display it in shops, houses, places of business and cars to help catch the thug responsible.
Mr Bodden told iNews that he had doubled the police reward out of concern for the community.
â€śWe doubled the reward because we decided that this thing is serious — and that we are serious that you cannot have this kind of thing in the country,â€ť said Mr Bodden, â€śso we decided to offer $10,000 each.â€ť
Mr Watler, owner of Watlerâ€™s Metal Products, told iNews that â€śMs Connor was a good friend, and I go to the station on a daily basis. We hope this will help to bring these criminals to justice. Itâ€™s just the right thing to do.
â€śThis is out of control and we have got to do something. We hope that maybe this will get some other companies to step forward and do something,â€ť Mr Watler said.
In a late night robbery attempt on the Bodden Town Texaco station, assailants shot grandmother Ms Connor in the elbow and leg, leaving her bleeding in the street before police and an ambulance arrived.
The gunmen took nothing, but escaped. Police subsequently offered a reward for information leading to their capture.
â€śSheâ€™s coming on now and fairly positive,â€ť Mr Bodden said. â€śI think she’ll make a full recovery, at least physically, but psychologically is another question. It remains to be seen.â€ť
Doctors want to send her off island for further treatment, he said, but insurance funding is unclear, presenting a choice between Jamaica and Florida. â€ťShe would like to go to Miami,â€ť Mr Bodden said, â€śbut they want Jamaica. We are seeing what we can do.â€ť
He said she would likely be released either by the weekend or early next week.
â€śI have spent thousands since the incident,â€ť to boost security at Lornaâ€™s, he said, â€śbut there is only so much you can do. I went from two night security guys to about seven, and had to hire another couple of guys.
â€śI have put timers on the lights so they switch off after people leave, I am looking at a system â€“ for about $2,200 or $2,300 — where locks will buzz people in and out and am putting extra cameras into places that are not well-lit,â€ť he said, lamenting the high costs in difficult economic times.
Mr Bodden said he heard a couple of names â€śof local kidsâ€ť, responsible for the shooting, but declined to elaborate in the face of a police investigation. â€śI donâ€™t want to say too much just now,â€ť he said.
In a formal announcement yesterday of the doubled reward, Mr Bodden and Mr Watler said that, as â€śconcerned citizensâ€ť, they wanted â€śto appeal to anyone else willing to join in and make it up to highest possible amountâ€ť.