As the pastor was about to bless the offerings at the funeral of Romain 'Boysie' Anthony White yesterday at Kings Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church on Windward Road, Kingston, at least two gunmen reportedly alighted from a car and opened fire on the hundreds of mourners standing outside the church, injuring nine persons, two of whom succumbed to their injuries.
One of the attendees, who asked not to be named, said that the pastor along with everyone in the church got flat as the sub-machine guns barked outside of the holy building.
"As the pastor a go start pray, a just hear the shot dem and mi friend say 'go dung'," the attendee told cried
The mourners, who are predominantly from Mathews Lane, where White lived all his life, scampered for cover and eventually travelled to the Kingston Public Hospital, where they held their breaths as they tried to get information on how much damage was done.
One of the well-wishers who gathered at the hospital said that one of the persons who reportedly died had just walked out of the church after viewing White's body in the coffin.
"Him just walk pass mi cause him go look pon Boysie," the woman said.
A frantic woman, who described herself as the cousin of the deceased man, said she saw her cousin right before he left for the funeral.
"Him all a say him late and him haffi go Boysie funeral," the resident of Mathews Lane said.
According to attendees, White was a popular man in his community.
It is reported that he was killed in a dispute over a spot to sell his goods on Beckford Street in downtown Kingston about a month ago.
"Everybody know Boysie. That is why so many people attended, and it wasn't a gun that killed him. Puzzle me why they would come shoot up the funeral," a bystander said.
According to one of the attendees, only a few family members followed the funeral officials from Rest Haven Funeral Home, who were conducting the funeral, to the cemetery.
Meanwhile, officials at the Kingston Public Hospital had to call in off-duty surgeons to try to save the seven other victims who were battling for their lives.
"Dr Natalie Whyley, the SMO [senior medical officer], has instructed for additional surgeons to be called out. We have opened additional operating theatres, and to compound the situation, we also had a motor vehicle accident of which one person was killed," chief executive officer for the Kingston Public Hospital, Errol Greene, told THE STAR