Holiday cheer turned to terrified screams as violence erupted in Jamaica on Friday, December 2.
Damel Burton, 34, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend’s son, 18-year-old Keith Murrell, in an apartment the three shared on the second floor of the Baisley Park Houses. Burton then boarded the Q111 bus at the Parsons-Archer terminal, where be shot and killed passenger Marvin Gilkes, 36, and injured a second passenger, Jajuan Lipsey, 29.
Gilkes was pronounced dead at the scene while Lipsey’s injuries are not life-threatening.
After he was shot, Murrell reportedly leaped from his window to a grassy area below and was helped across the street where he collapsed. The 18-year-old was later pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital.
Friends and family described Murrell as a basketball-loving role model who wanted to be a mechanic. All of that was erased when the tragic teen was shot in the chest by ex-con Burton.
“I can’t seem to grasp this sad situation, it’s just so sad and senseless to me,” said Murrell’s cousin, Sandy Thickness, in a Facebook post. “I love my family and we all miss our cousin Keith. My family just took a great loss.”
Burton reportedly used the Q111 to get away from the scene, but became agitated when he thought passengers on the bus were talking about him.
District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that Burton has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder following the shooting rampage.
“The defendant is accused of the cold-blooded shooting death of one young man, followed by the alleged shooting of two more people on a city bus – leaving one of them dead and the other seriously injured,” the district attorney said. “These shootings are particularly disturbing for having exploded during an otherwise routine afternoon bus ride filled with shoppers, students and ordinary people returning from work. Violence such as this will not be tolerated, especially aboard public transportation.”
Burton, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, was quickly captured by police officers a block away from the bus shooting, still carrying the alleged murder weapon.
Released on parole in August of 2010 after serving seven years for attempted robbery, Burton has six prior arrests and served a year in prison in 2000 for drug dealing and weapon possession.