A 27 year old lesbian, her two brothers and a male friend were the victims of an open gunfire assault on their persons earlier this year in South Central Jamaica. A day after the passage of hurricane Gustav the victims were in the drizzling rain in search of a bunch of car keys that had gone missing. She noticed two men seated by a fence post near a walkway adjacent to their home.
The rain started to pour and the woman, her 2 brothers and male friend sought shelter on the car porch, her 7 year old daughter and the daughter of her older brother were inside the house and the other family members were away.
Upon approaching the porch sounds of gunshots began to ring out and she soon realised she was hit in the right side of her abdomen, it penetrated her kidney and exited her body, she proceeded to run into the house and was struck twice, on the left buttocks and leg, she fell and played dead, where she called the police from her cell phone while in that lying position. The gunmen were overheard saying “yes we get di lesbian, but the battyman dem get weh” they were intent on finishing the job and were in search of the two males. Her brothers were not known to be gay but guilt by association was the motive as presented to us in the victim’s account of the incident.
As for the brothers, one was shot five times and the other three times. The brothers one of whom is gay made their way with the help of friends and family living nearby to the hospital for treatment. Our lesbian victim by now had managed to drag herself into the house after calling for help from onlookers & hiding her daughter and niece under clothing and sheets with a breath-hole and instructed them to remain there until the police arrived.
The male friend was unharmed.
The neighbours and onlookers were unsympathetic and were even expressing no remorse for the act being done to the victims. They accused her of being a lesbian and her brother of being a “battyman” and that the family was condoning it, so all of them should have been killed. One of her brothers was even taunted at work by his coworkers about the incident that his lesbian sister and “battyman” should have died.
The police were helpful in this matter, they took the victim to the hospital and visited her afterwards there where she underwent an operation to remove a kidney and a damaged section of her liver. She was unable to walk at the time but is Glad to be alive and recovering well.
She has done follow up treatment and tests as her doctor has ordered.
She has relocated to family and friends who are very supportive. The brothers have also received medical attention and had the bullets removed and are recuperating.
One of the gunmen was captured after the police picked up on intelligence that he was boasting about the incident, he has previous charges pending of other shootings in and around the area. (not of LGBT people) the other is still in the run. The case is to be mentioned again soon in court.
Naturally the three are scared to go to court as they are in fear of their lives and knowing the holes in the witness protection program they are hesitant to pursue the issue presently. Her performance on her job has been affected so her income has depleted but she is cheerful non-the-less. She is thinking about what is her next step.
Her gay brother is presently not employed but is assisted by friends, the children of the two were traumatised for several weeks after the incident but are recovering well it seems after we spoke to them over the phone.
We are praying that all goes well with her and her brothers as they rebuild their lives.
We have intervened financially to assist them and have sourced counseling services for them.
A recent visit to our offices by the the two LGBT victims saw them in good spirits.
(photos withheld by request)