Jamaica: 16-year-old victim of bizarre murder

By Rumi Samuel Published on November 22, 2021
Jamaica: 16-year-old victim of bizarre murder

A 16-year-old girl who was slain in bizarre circumstances at her home was among 12 persons killed over 24 hours on the weekend in a psychological blow to the states of emergency (SOEs) imposed nine days ago to rein in runaway murders. 

Five of the dozen murders occurred in three of the seven police divisions in which the security measure was activated amid killings that are 10 per cent higher year on year. 

Among the deceased were two unidentified men in St Mary, but the death of Sorika Picart at her Lincoln Road home in east Kingston stands out for the sheer shock and scale of domestic violence, which was followed by a running gun battle in which two policemen and a bystander were shot and injured.

The Convent of Mercy (Alpha) high-schooler was playing Ludo with her best friend when it was alleged that her granduncle approached her and shot her several times, hitting her in the head, left arm, and upper body.

Forty-six-year-old Glenford Henry is wanted by the police in connection with the crime.

Residents’ accounts of strange behaviour by Henry are expected to revive concern about the country’s capacity to identify, treat, and isolate the mentally ill with a penchant for dangerous behaviour before such explosive situations occur. Several persons have been allegedly killed or injured by the mentally ill this year.

According to reports, less than five minutes after carrying out his attack, Henry allegedly attempted to escape on foot when he was challenged by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. A firefight ensued in the vicinity of Camperdown Road. 

Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick of the police information arm confirmed that the security forces were attacked.

“They came under gunfire from him in his bid to escape, and during that shooting, two policemen were injured and another person that was passing,” Garrick said.

Henry, who is also from Kingston 16, is still on the run. 

No motive has been established for the murder. 

The loss of his first child has come as a shock to Sorika’s father. Adding to his heartbreak is that he was unaware that Henry was staying at the premises, where Sorika reportedly lived with her mom.

“I am devastated. I am just trying to put the pieces together to see what could have really caused this. I don’t even know how to describe this situation,” said the father, who requested that his name not be published.

The incident occurred about 5:50 p.m. on Saturday.

One resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Henry was deported months ago and has since been living with his niece. That account could not be verified by the police up to press time.

The resident added that Henry often demonstrated bizarre behaviour and kept to himself. 

“The uncle gwaan like a madman. Every night that man a bun cigarette and drink raw rum ... . Him nuh really deal wid nobody on the ends. Him just stay by himself and deh pon him phone right through,” the resident disclosed. 

Sorika’s passing has come as a shock to the community, with the resident describing the teenager as mild-mannered. 

He said she was “a nice little girl. She cool and humble, she nuh give trouble. She plays a little netball and play a little Ludi (Ludo) on the veranda outside. 

“She eva a tell people, morning, evening and night,” he told reporters.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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