By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A retired woman yesterday described the moment she was shot in the chest and leg from a hail of bullets while waiting for Junkanoo results at Freedom Park during the 2013 Fox Hill mass shooting.
Janet Davis testified about how she feared for her life when she felt the “burning” sensation to her chest just after hearing “crackling, firecracker sounds” going off at the park.
Her arms casually folded at the time, Ms Davis said she didn’t realise she was shot until she felt the searing pain in her chest, leading her to look down and see blood oozing from her bosom.
She said one bullet ripped through her left arm, struck her in the chest, before blasting clean through her right upper arm. A second bullet struck her in her inner thigh and is still lodged in her leg to this day. She maintains that years later, she still has no idea why she was shot at.
Samuel Ferguson, who was shot in the leg during the mass shooting, also testified how he saw when a grey, silver colour Honda vehicle pulled up from the east and started “shooting up the area”.
Mr Ferguson also said he caught a glimpse of the shooter—a male of slim build—who was brandishing a black handgun and shooting over the car towards the basketball court on the park.
However, Mr Ferguson said he did not get a good enough look at the shooter’s facial features.
Meanwhile, defence attorney Geoffrey Farquharson argued yesterday that the alleged motive behind the mass shooting was the death of a Haitian drug dealer known as “Limbo” who operated in that community, as well as that of his brother David years ago.
Ms Davis’ and Mr Ferguson’s testimony came during Peter Rolle’s, Jermaine Curry’s and Justin Williams’ trial concerning the December 27, 2013 shooting at Freedom Park before Justice Deborah Fraser, just over six years after the incident took place.
Williams, Rolle and Curry are accused of murdering four people – Claudezino Davis, Shaquille Demeritte, Eric Morrison and Shenique Sands on that date. They are also charged with attempting to murder Ms Davis, Mr Ferguson, Chino Davis, John Davis, Jermaine Pratt and Leroy Taylor.
According to reports, around 6pm, occupants of a small, dark vehicle opened fire in the area just behind the basketball court where several people were gathered.
Davis was pronounced dead on the scene while 10 others were taken to hospital. Demeritte, Morrison and Sands later died in hospital of their injuries.
Taking the witness stand yesterday, Ms Davis said she was at Freedom Park waiting for the announcement of the Junkanoo results. Her son asked her something, prompting her to go to the store to purchase a thermos for her son’s child, as the original one had broken. She also went to her home to boil some water and later returned to the park.
While standing around waiting for the results, along with about 30 to 45 people, Ms Davis said she heard a “crackling, firecracker” sound, before she saw people “screaming” and running. Then, she said she felt a burning pain in her chest. Ms Davis said when she looked down, she saw blood.
Upon seeing the blood on her chest area, Ms Davis said she said: “Oh Lord, I got shot!” She said she started to fear for her life and collapsed, but was caught by her husband and her son. She said they took her to her daughter’s car, and she was later taken to hospital where she was shown an x-ray of her injured leg.
Ms Davis said she was discharged from hospital that Sunday, but still had to go to the clinic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afterwards to have her wounds checked and dressed.
While being cross-examined by Williams’ attorney, Mr Farquharson, Ms Davis’ attention was drawn to one of the photographs captured by crime scene investigators of the scene in Fox Hill. That photograph captured the Junkanoo shack of the Original Congos, according to Mr Farquharson.
On the side of that shack, Mr Farquharson said, is some graffiti that reads: “RIP Spy and Limbo. Real Gs”.
Ms Davis, in response to a question by Mr Farquharson, said she does not know who Limbo and Spy are. However, Mr Farquharson said the deaths of those two men—based on the graffiti—served as the incentive of the 2013 mass shooting.
He argued the mass shooting has its roots in the death of Haitian drug dealer “Limbo” and his brother “Spy”, whose real name is David. And according to Mr Farquharson, “Limbo” is mentioned by one of the witnesses in the case.
Otherwise, Mr Farquharson suggested it is ludicrous for the prosecution to suggest to the jury that “for some reason unknown, somebody went and shoot 10 people” on the Fox Hill-based recreation ground.
Next up to testify was another retiree, Reginald Sands, and the father of Shenique Sands who died as a result of the mass shooting. Mr Sands said his daughter was one of 11 children, six of whom are girls.
Mr Sands said that the last time he saw his daughter alive was about two weeks before the shooting. The next time he saw her was on December 30, 2013, when he identified her body at the morgue.
The case continues today.