Scores attend candlelight vigil for PM’s youth awardee Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A candlelight vigil held Friday night in memory of national youth awardee Ceejay Cunningham, drew a large crowd to his hometown of Davyton, Manchester.

Joining family, friends and community folk were a number of politicians, including the Member of Parliament for (MP) for Manchester Central, the Jamaica Labour Party’s Rhoda Crawford, and People’s National Party Councillor for the Bellefield Division, Mario Mitchell.

Also in attendance was the Commander for the Manchester police, Deputy Superintendent Carey Duncan.

Cunningham, also a tiler, was the 2022 recipient of the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Agriculture and Agro-Processing. He was shot and killed in Davyton on April 26. A 33 year-old man was also shot and injured in the incident.

Police reports are that about 5:45pm, both men were in the process of tiling a house under construction when gunshots were heard inside the building.

The police were called and Cunningham was found with bullet wounds to the head and the other man with a wound to the right thigh. Cunningham died at the scene.

In a show of unity, Crawford and Mitchell lit candles together. The two politicians also spoke to the promise that Cunningham possessed, with Crawford describing his killing as “heartbreaking”.

“Ceejay was a promising young man. He contributed so much to the community and to the nation at large,” said Crawford.

The first term MP noted that the streets of Davyton have become largely deserted since Ceejay, a well-liked community member was killed.

“Davyton is usually a quiet community and ever since the incident, it’s as though the community has locked itself into a shell. Usually you would come in the community [and see] young men playing football, shops would be open [and] persons would be on their verandah. It is almost as if it has become a ghost town,” said Crawford.

She added that “Ceejay was a promising young man. He contributed so much to the community and to the nation at large”.

For his part, Mitchell said it was important that unity is restored to the community.

“The entire community is out to support the family. The police is here. This is the direction that we want to ensure that this community starts to lead Jamaica in unity and togetherness to solve this monster, crime,” he said.