Prime Minister Andrew Holness has denounced the killing of 34-year-old Kemisha Wright and her four children as a “new low” in Jamaica, that has demonstrated an extreme contempt for the sanctity of life.
“All Jamaicans must unequivocally condemn the murder of four innocent children and their mother. This marks a new low in the level of violence in our society. This is not just a domestic dispute, this murder represents an attack on our civility, an attack on our sensibilities, and an attack on our nation,” Holness said in an audio recording shared with the media after the gruesome discovery at Wright’s Cocoa Piece, Clarendon home on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister urged the police to ensure that the perpetrator is caught and brought to justice, and expressed his deepest sympathies to Wright’s family.
The 34-year-old and her four children: Kimana Smith, 15, Shemari Smith, 10, Kafana Smith, five, and 23-month-old Kishaun Henry, were found dead at their home on Tuesday morning. Their throats had reportedly been slashed.
The Clarendon police have identified 23-year-old Rushane Barnett otherwise called ‘Jett’ or ‘Nick,’ the cousin of the deceased, as a person of interest in the matter. Barnett is said to frequent Cocoa Piece in Clarendon, Wilson Run in Trelawny, and Papine in St Andrew.
Prime Minister Holness, who departed the island Monday for Rwanda to participate in the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, has also called on Jamaicans to find new ways to resolve conflicts and reject violence.
“This is a point where all Jamaicans should reflect on the level of violence in the society, and how we have come to normalise violence and that each and every one of us, how we rear our children, how we interact with each other, and conduct our social transactions, we must all turn away from violence as a means of resolving disputes and conflicts,” the Holness urged.
The bodies of Kemisha Wright and her four children are removed from their home after they were found dead on Tuesday.
In the meantime, Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Central Robert Morgan has described the mass killing in his constituency as a “terrible tragedy”.
“It is a rough time for us. We just have to pray and comfort each other in this time. This has never happened before in our constituency. We are not used to this type of mass killing,” Morgan said on Tuesday.
The grisly discovery of the family of five has shocked the quiet community. Morgan, now serving his first term as an MP, appealed to the police to be meticulous and unyielding in their investigation.
“And I am just asking the cops to not leave anything to chance to find whoever is responsible for this,” Morgan said Tuesday.