Jamaican authorities have arrested eight people believed to be involved in the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old British girl last week. Imani Green was shot twice on Friday night in Duncans, a rural town in northern Jamaica. Reports indicated that a lone gunman fired on the shop Green was visiting, but police said the shooting was the result of a violent feud in the area.
“Over the last 24 hours there have been some developments where the police have taken eight persons into custody and we’re confident we will make a breakthrough on this one very soon,” deputy superintendent Steve Brown of the Jamaica Constabulary Force told the BBC.
“We’ve heard about gang warfare, but we find it a bit difficult to believe because where the incident took place it is a sleepy community, nothing happens there. This is just an isolated incident but it could well link to a number of things and we are looking at all possibilities and following all the leads that we are getting.”
Green is from south London, and was visiting relatives in hopes that the warmer climate could ease her sickle cell anemia. She arrived in the country on Dec. 27, and would have left later this month. Imani’s mother was also in Jamaica, but was shopping in a nearby town at the time of the shooting.
Early reports had linked the shooting to gang violence, a claim that Brown dismissed. The Guardian news site more recently reported that the attack may have resulted from a feud over an illegal lottery scam. Multiple deaths have been tied to such scams, which involve conning victims into wiring money in exchange for nonexistent lottery winnings.
Green’s relatives are still coping with the loss of the young girl. “We really feel it,” her uncle Michael Brady said, according to the Guardian. “Right now I can’t work. I can’t go out. I just cry. I just wake up and cry.”