NEW YORK, USA, Wednesday October 17, 2012 – Members of the reggae music fraternity, media and friends gathered in New York on Monday evening to honour popular Jamaican entertainer Captain Barkey who was shot dead in Bronx early on Saturday.
The tribute, hosted by Irie Jam radio in collaboration with Images Media, was held at Clippers Restaurant and Lounge in Queens, and honoured the memory of the 50-year-old dancehall deejay who gained fame with the 1996 hit “Go Go Wine” and was cut down by a hail of bullets in the parking lot of the Holiday Motel along with his girlfriend Tracy Bennett.
According to police, the former soldier, born Wayne Hamilton, and 38-year-old Bennett were about to leave the motel in her white Toyota when the gunman darted out of hiding and shot them.
“The killer was waiting when the couple emerged from the Holiday Motel around 3:10 am, and he blasted more than two dozen bullets at the helpless duo,” the New York Daily News reported witnesses and police as saying.
“Hamilton hopped from the passenger seat and tried to escape the hail of bullets that cut him down just outside the motel office,” the Daily News report continued.
“The suspect then turned his pistol on the weeping Bennett as she stood next to her parked sedan, its motor still running,” added the report.
The Daily News and the New York Post both reported witnesses saying that Bennett pleaded for her life before she, too, was shot dead.
“I looked out my window and saw a lady standing there,” the Daily News quoted Ricky Gugliotta, who was staying in a nearby room. “She was begging him not to shoot her, but then he shot her twice and she went down.”
Witnesses said the shooter jumped into a car with New York plates and sped off after the killings.
On Sunday, police named 42-year-old Joseph Kernizan as the suspect in the murders and said he had a long rap sheet with 16 prior arrests on charges including robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, fraud and forgery.
Kernizan, a Haitian resident of Long Island, is said to be the father of two children with Bennett who had a restraining order in place against him.
Police are in possession of video footage of Kernizan, captured by the motel’s closed circuit security TV.
Captain Barkey was a veteran of the sound system circuit. He started deejaying with two Spanish Town sound systems, Stereo One and People’s Choice, and had a few minor hits before topping Jamaican charts with “Go Go Wine” after which he scored with “Bun Fi Bun”.
He later partnered with fellow deejay Wickerman (David Taylor) and the duo put out a string of hits, recording for dancehall producers King Jammys and Steelie and Clevie. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)