Twenty-six-year-old Lance Simpson of Effortville has been named as the suspect while only the aliases of the persons of interest — “Dada” and “Spent Shell” — have been released.
“Anyone knowing [their] whereabouts [are] being asked to contact the May Pen Police at 902-9925, police emergency 119, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station,” the Constabulary Communication Network said in a release yesterday.
Thirty-nine-year-old Townsend, a 16-year veteran of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, had reportedly gone to visit friends in Effortville — also known as Farm — on Sunday when he was shot by gunmen.
At the time of his death, the policeman, who was stationed at the Junction Police Station in St Elizabeth, was reportedly on leave.
Yesterday, relatives described Townsend as an outspoken, friendly and kind individual.
“If it is even him best friend, him nuh go behind and talk if him have something to say. Him tell yuh the truth and when him done yuh an’ him a friend again,” his mother Pearl Townsend told the Jamaica Observer from her home in Cornpiece District, also in Clarendon.
“It’s shocking,” she said. “Up to now I am feeling something inside me. If him did sick or so it would be easier, but fi just hear dat dem kill him.
“We understand that he had friends in Farm and he was on leave, so I am not sure if he came up from Friday night or he was there with him friend because I don’t know the friend.
“Him stubborn,” she added, “but he’s not a wicked man. He was friendly and kind. He lived good with his friends. Him is a man who find it easier to give something to his friends than his family. And him nuh jumpy and mek trouble wid people, so I don’t know why they would kill him.”
The grieving mother said she last saw her son, “who joined the force shortly after graduating from Clarendon College”, in October. She said he told her that he wanted to leave St Elizabeth.
“He wanted to leave St Elizabeth and come back to Clarendon because is here him born,” she noted. “He asked them and they said they are going to move him. Mi nuh see him since that, until mi hear that him die.”
Meanwhile, Petrina Frazer, Townsend’s cousin, said she was devastated by the news.
“He was a nice person to grow up with,” she said. “We played a lot of cricket, even on this street. Wi used to go swimming together. We used to carry goat and cow to bush.
“He was my favourite cousin, but since we leave school and moved out of the community we don’t get to see each other a lot. The last time I saw him was about a year ago. From mi hear last night seh dem kill him mi nuh sleep none at all,” she added.
The family said they are hoping that Townsend’s killer(s) will be brought to justice in short order.