Criminals went on a murderous rampage in St. James yesterday morning, killing four people in just under an hour.

That’s in addition to the body of a woman, which was also found in the parish yesterday morning. The latest murders mean at least 250 people have been killed so far this year across the island.

The most recent statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, show that up to March 9, murders have increased by more than 50-percent in St. James, when compared to the similar period last year.

St. James is one of eight police divisions where murders have increased this year, despite an overall 13 percent decrease islandwide, and 14 percent decrease in all major crimes. The blood-letting started at 8 yesterday morning when two men were murdered during a robbery.

Dead are 61-year-old security guard Canute Earle, and 41-year-old driver, Floyd Wilson, both from St. James. Reports are Earle and another security guard were travelling in a marked Hawkeye car.

They were escorting a Hiace van which Wilson was driving. There was also a passenger in the van. The two vehicles were reportedly penned into a section of Jarrett Street, when armed men opened fire and robbed the Hiace. The security guards and Wilson were taken to hospital, where Earle and Wilson were pronounced dead.

The other security guard was admitted in stable condition. The passenger in the Hiace was not hurt. Just 15 minutes later, the Montego Hills police were called to Hendon in Norwood, where 45-year-old Allen Walters, otherwise called Beers was murdered.

The police say residents took Walters to the Cornwall Regional Hospital with a wound to his back. He was later pronounced dead.

The police are also probing the murder of a man in Farm Hill, Montego Bay. Our news centre understands the man may be from Westmoreland.

Details on his murder weren’t available at news time. At around nine yesterday morning, the body of Kerry-Ann Campbell was found at Fisherman’s Beach in Montego Bay.

Reports are that passersby saw the body and called the police. Campbell had a wound to the head. Up to Saturday, 23 people have been murdered in St. James since the start of the year, when compared to 15 murders over a similar period in 2018.

The latest murders mean at least 250 people have been killed so far this year. Kingston Central, Manchester and St. Catherine South are showing the biggest increases in murders this year.