Black Immigrant Daily News
Gunmen reportedly fired on the vehicle of Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Jermaine Hyatt and shot at him while he was in his West Kingston Division on official business, prompting the intervention of a contingent of soldiers on Thursday morning.
The purported attempt on the life of the first-time councillor occurred at Chestnut and Tulip lanes at approximately 9am.
Hyatt said that previous threats were made against him, which resulted in him being assigned a police escort. According to him, his close protection officer drives while he travels in the front passenger seat.
He said it was the front passenger side of the heavily tinted vehicle that was shot up.
Hyatt told Loop News that he and state agents were at a premises Thursday morning, where a project was to start when he heard multiple explosions near his parked vehicle. He said he went to look and saw several men who opened fire at him.
Soldiers who were at a checkpoint about 100 meters away rushed to the scene to challenge the gunmen, who fled the scene after a brief gun battle with the army men.
Hyatt told Loop News that he believes he is targeted because of his attempts to stamp out criminality within his division.
“It is my personality, they know I believe in law and order and I’m known to stand up against criminality and what is wrong,” he said.
Hyatt, who sits in the Kinston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, is a West Kingston native. He attended the Denham Town Primary and Tivoli Gardens High Schools before moving on.
He said the attack has strengthened his resolve to fight criminal elements in his division.
“I will continue to serve the people. No one will drive me out, worse criminals,” he said.
Hyatt said that he did not expect his fight to clean up the community would be an easy one. He said he is even prepared to die for the cause.
Still, he added: “I didn’t expect them to be so brazen to attempt it in full view of the residents.”
Calling himself a true product of West Kingston, Hyatt said since the shooting incident, there has been a massive outpour of support from residents, who are encouraging him to continue his work.
He said that he reported the matter to his member of parliament Desmond McKenzie and he gave a detailed report to the police.