March 25, 2023

Dozens injured in shooting and stampede at political rally in Jamaica

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pnp-rally-injuredFrom Caribbean360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday February 24, 2016 – A shooting followed by a stampede at a mass rally of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) last night has left more than 35 people injured, including two children.

Lawmen have indicated that so far there is no evidence to suggest that the gunplay which sparked the panic was politically motivated.

The incident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. as the PNP’s campaign director Dr Peter Phillips was introducing party president, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

When the gunshots went off, people ran for cover, some of them falling and sustaining injuries. Two people were shot.

Dr. Phillips said police were “not too clear as to the reasons for the gun firing and it is not too clear as to who did the gun firing.”

When the incident occurred, Simpson Miller refused to leave the stage as her security detail had advised, instead staying on the platform and calling for calm.

The injured were taken to the hospital and the meeting resumed.

Speaking about what had occurred, Simpson Miller said: “Whoever was the evil that was sent here to do what has happened earlier will recognize that members of the People’s National Party are never afraid of anyone. I am going to find out who did it and it doesn’t matter what constituency they come from, neighbouring or otherwise. I am going to deal with it.”

“Some others want our meeting to look like some other meetings, but what they do not understand about PNP people – we are never afraid, we are not afraid of anyone. And I want to thank the police for the way they have handled the situation, but ask that it be investigated because we are not like the other party. This is a loving, peaceful party . . .” Simpson Miller added.

She was chastised for her comments by the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

JLP leader Andrew Holness described her comments as “distateful”.

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Two weeks ago, at the official launch of the JLP’s election campaign, a shooting also occurred in which three people were killed and others injured.

IMAGE: One of the injured being attended to. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

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