Chaos erupted aboard a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) 17A route bus travelling from Half-Way Tree to Greater Portmore last Sunday night after a male passenger threatened to use a rifle to shoot up churches.
THE STAR gathers that the dark skinned, dreadlocked man became irate after a woman started preaching.
An alleged eyewitness, Jane Brown*, told THE STAR that, “Upon reaching Three Miles at about 8:45 p.m., a woman got up and asked the driver to turn down the radio and she started to minister.”
“From the lady get up, he was grumbling, and as the woman started to minister, he started to cuss, saying, ‘a nuh everybody wah hear bout Jesus. A nuh everybody believe inna God. Jesus a b…yman cause a 12 man him did have a follow back a him, and mi nuh waan her nutten,” Brown continued.
She said the lady stopped speaking when the man started to get angry.
“Him look like him did want come out of him seat, so the lady seemed as if she became fearful and stopped preaching and went back to sit down,” she said.
However, the man carried on cursing, causing some of the other passengers to argue with him.
Brown said that during the quarrel, the bus broke down along a section of the Portmore leg of Highway 2000, and even the light within the bus went out.
When the bus started and the lights came back, Brown said that a number of persons started to curse the man, saying that he was the reason why the bus had mechanical problems.
During the heated exchange with the other passengers, the man threatened to shoot up the churches, mere hours after a gunman in Texas killed 26 persons and injured 20 others while they were worshipping in a church.
Brown added that at one point, the pulled a weapon from his pants and pointed it at a man who was trying to get him to calm down.
“Him draw one metal scissors after a man weh did a tell him say God real cause a him save him cause a nine shot him get and him still alive,” she said, noting that even the bus driver couldn’t get the irate man to calm down.
However, when contacted, Cecil Thoms, communications manager for the JUTC, said that he was not aware of the incident.
Meanwhile, renowned pastor Bishop Herro Blair believes the man’s threats speak to a general lack of respect for God and church nowadays.
“They steal speaker boxes out of churches every week. They are stealing church vehicles and have attacked person over the years,” he said.
However, Blair noted that as bad as things have been in Jamaica, most crimes in the island have been domestic or gang related.
“We don’t normally have Jamaicans who are going to walk into a store and shoot up everybody, even though we have crime taking place. We are not yet at that point. However, that does not means that we must not be on the look out,” he explained.
Nonetheless, he feels the man had all right to express his desire not to hear preaching on the bus.
“We want to have the gospel preached, but at all times it must be done in a respectful manner. We have to respect the people around us. People have rough days, people have headaches, so we have to be mindful of that,” Blair said.
Still, Blair said that threats of violence against the church would never stop him from ministering