British girl shot dead in Jamaica while out playing
Published 14/01/2013 | 05:00
An eight-year-old British girl shot dead in Jamaica had begged her mother to let her play out a little longer minutes before she was killed.
Imani Green, from south London, was shot in the head on Friday while on a respite holiday on the Caribbean island to help her cope with a genetic illness.
Police believe that she was an innocent victim when two men opened fire at a cafe owned by her cousin in the "peaceful" town of Duncans. Three other relatives were injured.
Officers are investigating whether the incident may have been some form of revenge attack.
Imani suffered from the blood disorder sickle-cell anaemia and had been given extended leave from school to go to Jamaica and take advantage of the warmer climate.
She was there with her mother, Donna, and other family members, but her father, Richard, stayed at the family home in Tooting. He had to be admitted to hospital after collapsing when he was given the news of her death.
Mitchum Brown, Imani's uncle, said the youngster was shot shortly after persuading her mother to let her play a little longer. "I heard that she was playing with some other kids outside the front of the shop, then apparently her mum came from shopping, and told her she's to get in," he said.
"She said, 'No mummy give me five more minutes'. Her mother said 'OK, five more minutes, then get inside'.
"After that her mum and her daughter (Imani's sister) heard shots fired. When she ran out, Imani was on the ground in a pool of blood and three other family members were shot.
"I heard that the family member that owned the shop was in a dispute with a guy the day before and they said they were going to come back and do what they were going to do."
Mr Brown said that her father, a building worker, was in hospital and in shock. "He was saying Imani was his life."
Imani's sister, Janella, who was in Jamaica, said: "We heard gunshots. We ran outside and shouted 'Imani, Imani, Imani'. I picked her up off the ground and realised she was still breathing. I flagged down a car and they drove us to hospital. The rest is history."
Superintendent Steve Brown, from the Jamaican police, said: "She was not deliberately targeted. She was with family members at the location when the gunmen attacked but she was not the target."
Murder detectives from Kingston, the Jamaican capital, are assisting local police in Duncans, a small town on the island's northern coast. (© Daily Telegraph, London)