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Person of interest still being sought in relation to killing of woman, children in Clarendon

An except from Beyond the Headlines news at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday
 
The police say the person of interest in the killing of four children and their mother at their home in New Road, Chapelton in Clarendon this morning, is still being sought.
 
The police told Radio Jamaica News that the man, who is said to be their cousin, was staying with the family.
 
He is 23-year-old Rushane Barnett. 
 
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang, who this afternoon told the House of Representatives that an individual had been taken into custody, has now said this is not the case.
 
When contacted Tuesday evening by Radio Jamaica News, Dr. Chang said he has withdrawn the statement.
 
The bodies of the five family members had stab wounds and the throats slashed.
 
They have been identified as 23-month-old Keshawn Henry, five-year-old Rafaella Smith, 10-year-old Shara-Lee Smith, 15-year-old Kimanda Smith and their mother 31-year-old Kemisha Wright.
 
 
Shock and horror
 
Jamaicans from all walks of life have expressed shock, horror and condemnation over the killing of the four children and their mother.
 
Wendorlyn McKnight weeped freely as she grieved the death of her only daughter and her four grandchildren.
 
A large crowed gathered at the scene as news of the horrific incident spread.
 
Many residents of New Road questioned the reason for the attack.
 
Ms McKnight said her daughter, Kemisha Wright, was a loving individual who was "always there" for family. She also described her as being ambitious. 
 
Residents told Radio Jamaica News that the person of interest in the killing had come to the community about two months ago for a funeral and stayed in the community after that. 
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is overseas on official business, condemned the incident in a video released this afternoon.
 
Education Minister Fayval Williams was among government officials who went to New Road where the family was killed. 
 
She said a stronger message needs to be sent to perpetrators "who contemplate and do these brutal acts on our children".
 
Moment of silence
 
The House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon observed a moment of silence for the mother and her four children killed.
 
House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple Philibert said a dark cloud was over Jamaica and urged citizens to "stop and reflect and pray for all of us". 
 
In an impassioned plea, she asserted that murders must stop, calling the actions senseless, gruesome, evil and barbaric.
 
'Disturbed and depraved'
 
Opposition Leader Mark Golding said his side would support all constitutional measures proposed by the government to deal with the crime problem.
 
However, he said Tuesday's murders highlight deep issues which cannot be solved with policing. 
 
"It's a degree of savagery which is very disturbed and depraved and it indicates that our country has a problem with violence which is multifaceted, it is not limited to...organised criminal violence around extortion, money laundering, scamming and other forms of criminal activity," he said. 
 
"This just appears to be another instance of a willingness to go to extremes to ventilate whatever hurt feelings or anger may have been preoccupying the mind of the perpetrator," reasoned Mr. Golding, who called for there to be a serious programme of anger management.
 
 


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