Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson and Robert Morgan, State Minister for Youth
Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson says the police prevented a potential mass killing of women and children at a cult-like organisation in Montego Bay, St. James on Sunday evening.
Two members of the church were killed during a ritual at the Pathways International Restoration Ministries of Montego Bay.
General Anderson says a third congregant was killed when a police team stormed the church after coming under gunfire.
Three others have been hospitalised.
The Police Commissioner on Monday afternoon told a press briefing that a congregant, who escaped after being injured, alerted the police that "some form of ritualised killing was going to take place".
He said first responders were shot at on their arrival and had to call for assistance.
Thirty-one women and 14 children were rescued from the premises.
More than 100 people had been inside the building.
The leader of the group has been taken into custody.
General Anderson confirmed that a female member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who was reportedly a member of the church, has also been taken into custody.
He said a number of state agencies have been called in to handle the welfare of the children who were rescued from the church.
Children now in state care
The 14 children who were taken from Pathways International Restoration Ministries have been placed in state care following a special sitting of the St. James Children's Court on Monday.
Robert Morgan, State Minister for Youth, said action was taken following the intervention of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
"There were some relatives who turned up seeking to take custody of the children but because of the nature of the situation, we're going to have to do our investigations and CPFSA is going to have to do the psychosocial analysis of all these children to find out the true circumstances of their condition as well as whether or not they can be turned over to any family member, and that process is now activated," he revealed.