Eight arrested over shooting of Balham schoolgirl in Jamaica

11:22 14 January 2013

Eight people have been arrested over the fatal shooting of Balham schoolgirl Imani Green in Jamaica.

The eight-year-old was killed when a gunman opened fire at her cousin’s shop in the rural village of Duncans on Friday.

Three of her relatives are recovering in hospital after they were wounded in the hail of bullets.

Police believe the killing could have been a revenge attack by gangsters on the Caribbean island.

Imani, who suffered from the blood condition sickle cell anaemia, is not believed to have been the target.

Deputy Superintendent Steve Brown, from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, said eight suspects were being questioned.

He has dismissed suggestions linking the shooting to gang warfare.

It has been suggested Imani might have been the victim of a feud over an illegal lottery scam, the attack being a reprisal for a shooting last year.

The racket, which reportedly involves duping Americans into believing they have scooped the lottery and asking them to wire an “advance fee” to collect their winnings, has been linked to more than 500 murders over the past five years.

Imani was shot twice in Friday’s attack - once in the head and once in the shoulder.

She had been given extended leave from Fircroft Primary School in Tooting to visit Jamaica and take advantage of the warmer climate.

A special assembly was held this morning at the school where a prayer were read for the little girl and her family.

Staff and children are now being offered counselling.

“Today and for the next few days and weeks it’s going to be difficult for them but we’re here to support them,” headteacher Anne Wilson said.

Relatives were said to have left their home at Old Hospital Close for a flight to Jamaica early yesterday morning to be with Imani’s mother.

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