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Suspected thieves killed on CHEC worksite

Published:Friday | January 14, 2022 | 12:10 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer

In a deadly twist of fate, two men were fatally shot while allegedly attempting to plunder a worksite at which they were employed in Bull Bay, St Andrew, after running into other co-workers with similar intentions on Tuesday night.

The deceased – 42-year-old Kamal ‘Jollyman’ Forbes and 25-year-old Dejean Devante Campbell – had reportedly breached the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) construction site in the Nine Miles area and were attempting to steal 16 lengths of steel when they were shot by other crooks.

Forbes and Campbell, who lived within walking distance of the site, were found dead at about 6 a.m. Wednesday with the steel lying beside the bodies.

The site is reportedly being preyed on by persons believed to be hired there, who constantly plot how to rob the location. A security guard was killed in another such incident a few months ago.

Yesterday, residents of the surrounding community expressed shock at the allegations, describing Forbes as a very quiet person who did not drink, party or indulge in many social activities.

They said that Forbes was the overseer of a tenement yard on behalf of a sibling residing in the United Kingdom, noting that they were stunned that he could have been engaged in such activities.

“Me believe [that] many things can happen and people can plot against you, people can plan against you. So you have to just know say a so life set,” one tenant told The Gleaner.

“We feel bad and disappointed because [he] is a quiet person so we nah expect [it] ... . A nuh like him hungry and short a nothing fi wah thief steel,” another lamented, noting that Forbes, who had no children, earned a living from working at the site and that his brother would frequently send remittances.

One of Campbell’s relatives, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, said that she had warned him about getting caught up with other workers who expressed a desire to plunder the site.

The relative said that she had advised Campbell to return home as soon as the workday ended, to avoid getting involved in the schemes.

When he did not return home on Tuesday evening, relatives became worried, with concern heightened because of the sound of gunfire.

“Mi warn him ‘bout the steel, but him still make company lead him astray,” she told The Gleaner.

Superintendent Tommielee Chambers, commander for the Kingston Eastern police, told The Gleaner that this was the first such incident since she took command of the division in October 2021.

She said that no motive had yet been established and that the attackers so far remain unknown.

There were also two unrelated double murders in the St Andrew South and St Andrew Central divisions over a 24-hour period.