Tributes paid to shot girl, eight

A property at Old Hospital Close, Balham in south London, where Imani Green was said to have lived

A property at Old Hospital Close, Balham in south London, where Imani Green was said to have lived

First published in National News © by

An eight-year-old British girl who was shot dead during a holiday in Jamaica has been described as "happy and playful" by her headteacher, as the investigation into her death continues.

Imani Green, from Balham, south London, was on holiday visiting relatives when she was killed in the the rural village of Duncans on Friday night, in what is believed to have been a revenge attack.

Imani, who attended Fircroft Primary School in Tooting, is reported to have suffered from blood condition sickle cell anaemia and had been allowed to take an extended new year holiday by headteacher Anne Wilson.

She told the BBC: "Imani was a happy, playful child who was popular with staff and pupils alike. She dealt with her illness very bravely and coped well with the special arrangements we had to have in place to support her.

"She had been given special permission to travel to Jamaica so that she could benefit from the warmer climate and we had been in contact with the local primary school she was attending."

The schoolgirl died after being shot twice by a gunman, once in the head and once in the shoulder, while visiting a grocery store and bar thought to be owned by a relative. Three other people were also injured in the attack.

The high command of Jamaica's police force said that Imani was "mercilessly slaughtered in front of family members in a hail of bullets as gangsters sought to exact revenge on their rivals" in the normally quiet Red Dirt district of Duncans in Trelawny parish.

Imani's sister, Janella Parmer, told the BBC: "We heard gunshots. We ran outside and shouted 'Imani, Imani, Imani'. I picked her up off the ground and realised she was still breathing. I flagged down a car and they drove us to hospital. The rest is history."

The island's government said the Falmouth police are conducting an "extensive investigation into the matter and will expend every effort to ensure that the perpetrator is apprehended and brought to justice".

Neighbours in Britain spoke of their sorrow following the girl's death. One friend of the family, who asked not to be named, said: "This is a close-knit community, so this is going to hurt us."

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