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Three Killed, Two Injured in Shooting at Jamaican Opposition Party Rally

The shooting took place during a Jamaica Labour Party campaign launch rally ahead of Feb. 25 parliamentary elections.
Andrew Holness
Andrew Holness, 39, delivers a speech after being sworn in as Jamaica's ninth Prime Minister in Kingston, Jamaica, in a file photo in Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. Collin Reid / ASSOCIATED PRESS

At least three people were killed and two injured in a shooting as hundreds gathered for an opposition party political rally in Monetego Bay, Jamaica, Sunday night, the Jamaica Labour Party said.

The gunfire rang out as former Jamaican prime minister and current JLP leader Andrew Holness was finishing a nearly hour long speech in Sam Sharpe Square, Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner reported. Security officers rushed the stage to remove Holness, the paper reported.

A photo posted on the JLP's Facebook page before the shooting showed people packed into the square.

The JLP called the shooting a "barefaced and heartless attack on the democratic process" in a post on Facebook. The party said Holness was in shock and expressing "heartfelt sadness" at the shooting during the party's official campaign launch ahead of Feb. 25 parliamentary elections.

"Tonight my heart is heavy, I am terribly saddened by tonight’s unspeakable incident and my sympathy goes out to the families of those who lost their lives, and my prayers are with those who were injured," Holness said in a statement issued by the party.

Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Horace Chang immediately wrote rival People's National Party leaders and election officials to request a meeting to discuss the shooting, the party said.

Holness called on JLP supporters not to interfere with authorities investigating the shooting.