Story of Family Caught in Gang War Crossfire; Rebuilding Lives

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It is always disheartening when any family has to go through a tragic event; in this case, tragedy struck twice. This is the current situation with a family in Effortville, Clarendon. A single father with four children has had to face twin tragedies. First, he lost his wife in April 2017 and then, within just four days in a freak accident, a single bullet went through the legs of both him and his son! The single bullet that hit them both was from the crossfire between two warring gangs chasing each other. The poor father and stepson had nothing to do with the gangsters and their fights. Now the family is trying to rebuild their lives.

The Fateful Morning

The incident, as it happened, was described by the father, Delroy Lennon. He married Terri-Ann Forrester, who had two children from a previous relationship and then the couple had two children of their own. The mother died due to an illness and Mr. Lennon took on the care of all four children. The boy who received the gunshot wound, Omarion Gayle, is his stepson. Lennon says Omarion and his sister were outside their house when the gunshots were heard. As the sounds of gunshot got closer, the children hurried to rush back into the house. While Omarion was crossing the yard, a stray bullet hit him. The bullet had pierced Mr. Lennon’s thigh first before hitting Omarion and lodging in his groin.

Escaped Amputation

When Omarion was rushed to the hospital and doctors began his treatment, the impression was that he may not be able to walk again. The 14-year-old somehow pulled through and is even able to play football these days, which he is very fond of, but he says he does feel pain when he plays.

The family received support, mainly through the James and Friends Foundation. Omarion’s school fees were paid by the non-profit organization and he is able to attend school. The Foundation also helped with stocking a shop, that Mr. Lennon was running, with supplies, so that he could sell them and make enough money to run the household.

The sad story of Delroy Lennon and Omarion Gayle is yet another grim reminder of the tragedy that parishes like Clarendon are witnessing due to the mindless violence unleashed by the goons.

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