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Hearse driver, boy die as gunmen fire at mourners


Hearse driver, boy die as gunmen fire at mourners

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KINGSTON – Jamaica police were continuing their search Monday for the gunmen who shot at mourners at a funeral on Sunday leaving two people, including a 17-year-old boy dead.

Police confirmed that the driver of the hearse Michael Bent as well as Dontae Jackson were shot dead while a two-year-old child and a 23-year-old woman were injured during the shooting.

The incident, which occurred in St Andrew, a parish, situated in the southeast of the island, occurred as mourners were viewing the body of 49-year-old Desmine McCluskey, a former resident of Waltham Park Road in the parish.

The police said that Bent was in the community when four men travelling on motorcycles drove up and opened gunfire at the group of mourners.

The Jamaica Observer newspaper reported Monday that the managing director of House of Tranquillity Funeral Home, Joseph Cornwall, said that it is customary for some out-of-town funerals to have a short viewing of the body at the deceased individual’s home, unless told otherwise by the police.

“The family requested that the body be taken to the home for a short viewing and then [for it to] move on to the place where the service would be held, which would be the church, and then from there to the place of interment, which is the Annotto Bay Public Cemetery,” Cornwall explained.

Cornwall said Bent was a cabinetmaker who was employed to the funeral home as a driver. (CMC)