The mother of one of three St Mary farmers murdered by gunmen on August 28 said she has much to be grateful for, although she lost a son.

According to Sharon Fraser, five or six of her grandchildren would normally accompany the men to the farm during the summer holiday. However, for some unknown reason the children did not make the trip last Monday.

“It’s a good thing they didn’t go, or we would maybe be mourning for more,” said Fraser, whose son, 37-year-old Lincoln Crossdale, along with 25-year-old Ricardo Griffiths and 24-year-old Sherwaine Campbell, otherwise called ‘Murgie’, were ambushed by several men and shot at about 9:30 am as they made their way to Crossdale’s farm at Long Road. A fourth man in the group escaped.

Among the children who would go with the men are Crossdale’s four-year-old and eight-year-old daughters.

Fraser said she was also grateful that another of her sons was not there to face the criminals.

“It could have been two of them,” a very broken Fraser said as she explained that her other son, who had been visiting from overseas, went to the farm with Crossdale the Friday before the murders.

According to Fraser, the visiting son, who is a law enforcer living in the United States, had planned to buy equipment for Crossdale to work on the farm. That son left the island on Sunday.

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Fraser said Crossdale started farming at Long Road about six months ago after his grandfather died leaving the land. He was encouraged by his father to farm the land. She said Crossdale divided the land and gave a portion to Griffiths, Campbell and the fourth man who escaped the gunmen’s bullets.

“Him have a heart of gold, mi a tell you. Nothing him have too good that him can’t give you,” Fraser said of her son.

She added that he was a good father to his two daughters and son.

“He would always take his youngest daughter to school,” she said. “He was attentive to the pickney dem more than even dem mother.”

Fraser described her son as a hard-working man who also reared livestock.

“Him have 30-odd head of goat; him have about 20 pigs round by the line,” she said.

At the time Fraser spoke with the Jamaica Observer she said that the family and community were still not sure of the motive for the murders.

“Mi hear say about 10 times dem shot him,” she told the Sunday Observer.

Fraser said her son was scheduled to return to court last Thursday in relation to charges arising from the robbery of a business in the community. In that case, she said, her son was on his way to tend to his animals when he was shot by the police who were chasing men who had just robbed the businessplace. She believes her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“He saw [his] lawyer Sunday and the lawyer said he had a good case,” the grieving mother said.

In the meantime, Griffiths’ mother, Valerie Christie, said her son had never run afoul of the law, and it was a big shock to her that he was killed.

Christie said her son started farming over the summer, because the school where he worked as a security guard was closed.

“Mi son, him not even talk to people. He’s not in a gang. If a him alone, police nuh have no work to do,” Christie said. “The community traumatised because it’s not like dem in a gang feud. Nobody nuh know what happen.”

In light of the murders, Jamaica Labour Party candidate for St Mary South Eastern Dr Norman Dunn has called on residents to aid the police in their investigations.

Dr Dunn also expressed concern at the senseless killings that have been taking place in Annotto Bay and across Jamaica.

“It is with sadness that we are yet again faced with a situation like this… we have, over the years, incidents like these that it is almost incomprehensible to understand why these things tend to happen,” Dr Dunn said.

“This just needs to stop, this senseless brutality just needs to stop. Why are we maiming and killing our own people? It is sad that we keep hearing of these incidents,” he said.

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