The mother of the 13-year-old schoolgirl who was shot in the head when men, believed to be police, opened fire on an illegal taxi in downtown Kingston yesterday morning, said she was leaving everything in God’s hands after she and her co-workers prayed and sang outside Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where her only child was said to be recovering after emergency surgery.

Ruby McKoy, a teacher at Duhaney Park Primary School, was surprisingly calm when she spoke with the Jamaica Observer.

However, she admitted that earlier yesterday she was not unruffled.

“I wasn’t like this this morning. When I heard that she was in an accident, my knees gave way, everything went, and I found a colleague and cried and cried,” McKoy said. “[But] when I rememberd that I had prayed this morning, and I had asked for coverage from accident, both seen and unseen, I said to myself, ‘Why should I take this on when I am leaving it in His hands?’

“So what you see right now is not my own strength.”
Her husband, Harry McKoy, however, was very emotional.

Appearing to be in daze and on the brink of tears he said: “This is something you wouldn’t mind if you wake up and it is a dream.”
He said he was at home when he received the unfortunate news, but said he was hoping for the best as he was told that, although there was swelling to his daughter’s brain, no tissue was damaged.

When asked to describe his daughter, a grade eight Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) student, he simply said, “Zoey is the world,” while noting that she is the president of block two at her school and will celebrate her 14th birthday today (July 1).

The tragic incident occurred at the corner of Mark Lane and North Street.

According to the driver of the taxi, sometime after 7:00 am he was transporting four students, three from Alpha and one from St George’s College, when men whom he said were dressed in blue denim and vests marked police, subjected him to what he termed “bad driving”.

The driver said he responded by hurling expletives at the men, which angered them.

As a result, the driver said after he drove off he heard gunshots and heard the schoolgirl screaming out that she had been shot.

The girl, who was the only passenger injured, was rushed to the hospital by the driver.

In the aftermath of the shooting, several taxi drivers parked their cars in protest and demonstrated by blocking roads and setting fire to tyres in the streets.

Fires were lit behind Central Police Station on East Street, as well as on Church, Duke and North streets

The roadblocks were later cleared by a team of cops from Central Police Station, while firemen from the York Park station extinguished the fires.

“The police are unprofessional; you can a fire rifle pon taxi with schoolchildren fi kill off people pickney?” asked one taxi driver who was among colleagues on Church Street in the vicinity of Ward Theatre where they had mounted a roadblock with pieces of wood, stones, and an old refrigerator. A fire was also lit at that location.

“A man use mouth and yu a go use gun; police cyaan continue to operate like that and shoot people as dem feel a mind,” said another man on the scene.

Amidst the protest, cops were dispatched from Central Police Station to restore normalcy to downtown Kingston and to prevent further unrest.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Linval Phoenix, who was on East Street, told the Observer that the police were working to restore order and that the shooting was being investigated.

Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams has also ordered senior investigators of the Criminal Investigation Branch and the Inspectorate of the constabulary to probe the circumstances which resulted in the shooting.

The commissioner, while expressing sympathy to the family of the injured student, issued an appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward and give the information to the police and the Independent Commission of Investigations, which is also investigating the shooting.


  1. “restore normalcy to downtown Kingston…” how? How can you restore normalcy? School kids getting shot in the head is not normal. The man was operating an illegal taxi, trying to make ends meets most likely but illegal nonetheless. Police man simply could have taken the keys, written a ticket, tell the students to find alternate transport and have the vehicle inpounded. How on God’s green earth gun shot drop in? I hope the witnesses step forward you know but as Needle would say it’s sticky because obviously if it’s really a police officer, the he’s a corrupt one. People probably fear for their own safety because he could be so heartless in a situation that involved children, my God man!!
    I pray for that child’s speedy recovery. While I wish no one was injured, I’m happy the bullet didn’t strike the driver. Likkle most him dead/injured and the whole vehicle crash/flip and no one escape unscathed.
    Just disappointing. The army really need to take over and straighten out some of this because the corruption running too too deep. Everyday how much how much careless violence!! People nuh tired yet? We nuh mad yet?

    ***apologies for any typos, angry typing

  2. I agree with Lurker, this situation is beyond appalling, if they were police why would you take those measures on stopping the driver and their children in the car, it comes like these police felt everyone in the car are criminals and their life’s don’t matter. Something needs to be done to the police involved now a young girl is in the hospital fighting for her life, it’s not like she woke up that morning to know she would be laid up in a hospital bed… Please Father God come to your child’s aid and heal her father…

  3. Downtown Kingston look like 42nd Street that time of the day, why would you fire your gun and it’s not a shoot out??

  4. There is no excuse for this bad behaviour..justice needs to be served . Thank God she is going to be okay I could only imagine what her parents are going through. These cops nowadays are too gun happy .

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