MONTEGO BAY, JUNE 21, 2022 - Both the Government of Jamaica and the Opposition Peoples National Party have strongly condemned the gruesome and barbaric murder of a 31-year-old Kemisha Wright and her four children including a toddler, in New Road, Clarendon this morning. The bodies of the five family members had stab wounds and their throats slashed.
A statement from the government said “the horrifying murder of Kemisha Wright of Cocoa Piece, Clarendon, and her four children: 15 year old Kimana Smith; 10 year old Shemari Smith ; 5-year-old Kafana Smith and 23 months old Kishaun Henry , is an act of savagery, barbarity and brutality of unequal proportions”.
Ms. Wright was a hardworking and honest young woman who was making a life for herself and her children.
“The entire country is today feeling immense pain following these bloodcurdling murders, which show extreme contempt for the sanctity of life, and is especially devastated that young, innocent children were viciously cut down.
“The murder of this family reflects the epidemic of interpersonal violence that bedevils our society and reinforces the need for us to continue to pursue a holistic approach to this disease of inter-personal violence in our society.
“Horrific murders such as these are shocking to our very core and we must finally resolve as a country to set aside differences and take every action necessary, in an all-of-society effort to save lives and eradicate violence at its root.
“I express most heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms. Wright and her children and commit to taking every step to finding and thoroughly prosecuting those responsible for these horrific murders.
In a statement from the PNP, Opposition Spokesperson on Gender Affairs and Culture, Denise Daley, MP, says “The barbaric murders of young mother Kemisha Wright, and her four children have shocked the sensibilities of all well-thinking citizens of Jamaica.” She says these unthinkable acts should serve as a wakeup call for Jamaica to resolve to find practical ways to end this epidemic of crime.
“We have lost respect for the sanctity of life,'' She said, noting that “It takes an exceptionally evil heart to cut the throats of not just one, but four young children and their mother. This is an unforgivable act, which must be condemned and never repeated.“
Ms. Daley is calling on the authorities to leave no stone unturned until the person responsible for these senseless murders is brought to justice. Bemoaning the frequency at which violence is perpetrated against women and children in Jamaica, Ms Daley said "I am recommitting the support of the Opposition in doing our part to help in the fight against domestic violence and abuse, as we cannot continue to end the promise of our women and children” said Ms Daley.
The statement from the government sought to assure the public that “the police are carrying out their investigations and we expect a breakthrough in the case in short order.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, who visited the community today, told the House of Representatives that there has been "increasing levels of inter-family violence in recent times".
He said the incident reflected an "act of savagery and brutality of unequal proportions" and the situation represented the "epidemic of interpersonal violence that permeates sections of our society today".
In the meantime, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson says a 23-year-old relative of the family has been identified as a person of interest in the case.
He is Rushane Barnett, otherwise called 'Jet', of Wilson's Run, Trelawny and Papine, St. Andrew addresses.
General Anderson has asked the public to help in locating him. However, he pleaded for residents to turn him over to police and not resort to jungle justice.
A team from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is providing grief counseling to residents of New Road in Clarendon.