LINSTEAD, St Catherine — Grief and shock were evident on the faces of residents of Rosemount in Linstead, St Catherine yesterday as they tried desperately to come to grips with the reality that two of their own had been brutally gunned down only hours before.
The two, 53-year-old Anthony Rambaran and his wife Yvel, 52, had arrived at their home minutes after 9:00 on Tuesday night in a taxi along with their daughter and granddaughter. They had just drawn down the shutter to their small grocery store in the neighbouring district of Commodore and planned to retire for the night.
But their plans were dashed when two armed men accosted them before they could enter their house.
Teary-eyed residents who had gathered in front of the family home said the gunmen asked Anthony Rambaran his name about three times before proceeding to beat and kick him all over his body. The beating lasted for about 10 minutes before they turned their guns on the couple.
Anthony Rambaran was shot in the forehead while his wife was shot in the armpit and the right side of the neck. Both died on the spot. Mr Rambaran died at the side of the driveway while his wife took her last breath on an unfinished verandah near the front of their home.
Their daughter, granddaughter and the taxi driver had beaten a hasty retreat to the back of the house and were not harmed, the police reported. The gunmen escaped on foot in the area, the police added.
The couple's daughter, Toni-Ann, was beside herself with grief and sobbed uncontrollably as she was consoled by a cousin. Her two-year-old child slept soundly as Rambaran's co-workers and relatives milled about the yard. "She cried herself to sleep last night as her mother ran with her from the scene of the attack," an onlooker said.
Mr Rambaran worked as a vector control supervisor at the South Eastern Regional Health Authority, and yesterday several of his colleagues visited the home to express their condolences to his relatives.
"He was a humble man, cool, easy-going. He gave his life to the Lord sometime ago. He was an Adventist," one of his co-workers told the Jamaica Observer.
One of the couple's neighbours remembered them as quiet and unassuming. "All now we can't figure out why them would kill these good people. 'Tony' never say damn in his life. They took away the best man from our community and we feel it bad. 'Ivy' was a good mother and wife, and she never deserve to be killed like this either," the woman said.
At a house next door relatives of the dead couple sat staring in disbelief. "These things have never happened in Rosemount. We don't used to the gun thing around here and we don't know why them come and 'lay wait' the people and kill them like they were animals. It is too much," another neighbour said.