A manhunt for the presumed shooter was still under way across St James Sunday night in the wake of a spine-chilling murder of a bank executive as she prayed in church.
Investigators theorise that the murder was part of a conspiracy hatched by family members over wealth left behind by the woman’s late husband, triggering a series of death threats that haunted her for months.
The Trelawny police confirmed that three suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the death of 50-year-old National Commercial Bank employee Andrea Lowe-Garwood, who was shot and killed by the lone gunman while worshipping at a church in Falmouth, Trelawny, on Sunday morning.
One of the suspects detained is a stepson of the victim’s husband, Jeffrey Garwood, a tour bus operator who died last July in a motor vehicle accident along the Rose Hall main road in St James. The other two men have been identified as the driver of the getaway vehicle and the owner of the vehicle who had rented it out.
A video of the incident has been circulating on social media, in which shots can be heard being fired during the singing of a hymn, forcing persons on the podium and parishioners into extreme anxiety.
Persons could be heard crying out for ‘Jesus’ and bawling loudly seconds after the shooting ended.
Jamaica has been experiencing a sharp rise in murders since the beginning of the year, and has been listed as the country where the most murders have been committed in the Caribbean and Latin America by the InSight Crime’s 2020 Homicide Round-Up, which was released on Friday.
“This shows just how far we have sunk into sin as a country when our young men feel they are going to be held in high esteem if they enter a church and commit a murder. We are so devastated by this. It is a wicked and callous act, but as Christians, we know our God is real and anybody who desecrates his house shall meet a bitter end,” one of the church members told Loop News by telephone.
The police reported that Lowe-Garwood was participating in a worship session in church when a man who was posing as a member of the congregation, walk up to her and shot her several times.
The shooter escaped in a white motorcar, but reported left behind a cell phone which investigators are now scouring for clues.
Lowe-Garwood was assisted to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead .