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Relatives of Jerome Johnson in tears as they leave the Forensic Science Centre after identifying his body on Friday. - Angelo Marcelle
Relatives of Jerome Johnson in tears as they leave the Forensic Science Centre after identifying his body on Friday. – Angelo Marcelle

The relatives of slain San Juan labourer Jerome Johnson believe jealousy may have been the motive for his murder.

Police said Johnson, 30, was standing outside his First Street, San Juan, home with a 38-year-old woman, at around 11.04 pm on Thursday, when they were shot at by men in a silver Toyota Aqua.

A neighbour took Johnson and the wounded woman to the hospital.

Johnson was declared dead at around 11.27 pm, while the woman, who was shot in her right arm, left knee, ankle and pelvis, remained in the hospital up to Friday afternoon.

Speaking with Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Friday, Johnson’s father, Clifford Johnson, lamented the frequency of crime and violence in the country.

He said most of the murders are being committed by young men, and felt his son’s strong work ethic was what led to his death.

“Crime right now is out of hand and it’s the youths who are doing it, not elders like myself.

“In December I will be 60 years old and I don’t want to kill anybody. I want to live to see if I can be 70, I don’t want to kill anybody. It’s just the youths. And you see that thing they call jealousy when they see someone trying to elevate themselves? It’s a terrible thing.”

Police said Johnson was known to them for drug offences. The elder Johnson admitted while his son was known for selling small amounts of marijuana, he was not a major drug dealer.

His son, he said, worked various jobs to support himself and his family.

“At the end of the day, a man has to do what he has to do to mind his family.

“He used to hustle his little weed to make ends meet, but it’s not to say he was a big drugs man or anything like that.

“He worked like a dog at Associated Brands in Bhagoutie Trace, El Socorro. He did roof work. All this hour in the hot sun he was on a roof somewhere. He had a strong work ethic and he wanted to organise and build some apartments to make ends meet.”

The elder Johnson said his son had plans to open his own mini-mart.

Police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region II and the San Juan CID are continuing enquiries.