7pm UPDATE: POLICE have made four arrests in the investigation into the murder of Latore Mackey. According to reports, between 1:30pm and 3:20pm on Tuesday, a team of officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit acting on intelligence arrested a 24–year-old man of Palmeto Avenue, a 22–year-old man of Young Close, a 20–year-old man Bimini Avenue and an 18–year-old male of Young Close in connection with the murder.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
LATORE Mackey, Deputy Director of Bahamas Information Services and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, was shot in the neck and killed early yesterday morning.
His death was the fifth in less than 36 hours and brought the country’s murder count to 83 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.
The killing took place around 4:30am on Market Street.
Officers responded to reports of gunshots being heard in the White Road area and when police arrived on the scene, they discovered Mackey, 37, slumped over the wheel of his government issued vehicle with a gunshot wound in his neck.
He crashed into a utility police after being shot and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said police have no motive for the crime at this time.
A resident of the area, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Tribune that she heard shouting between two men and three gunshots before a loud crash. When she looked out of her window she said she saw a man slumped over the wheel of a jeep with “blood all over the air bag and dashboard”.
Mackey was also the owner of the Blue Reef Sports Bar and Lounge, a karaoke bar on Saunders Beach.
A Tribune source said the victim was reportedly dropping an employee from the bar home in the area before he was killed.
Speaking with the press, Prime Minister Perry Christie said he was “shocked” and deeply saddened” to hear of the brutal murder of a man he considered not only a colleague, but also a friend.
“I was shocked, absolutely shocked when I heard what happened,” Mr Christie said outside the House of Assembly.
“When I arrived back in the Bahamas yesterday (Sunday), as is usual the Commissioner of Police (Ellison Greenslade) met me and as usual I would have asked what has happened in the Commonwealth and he indicated to me that it was a very heavy weekend, meaning that there were shootings and killings and that in itself distressed me. So going into last evening I was preoccupied with the thought of what it is we have to do by way of strategies and crime.”
Mr Christie said he got to know Mackey in the lead up to the 2012 general election. He said he helped Mackey get a job with BIS after the Progressive Liberal Party won.
“(He) appeared to be a person of equanimity, he is calm, just no violent thoughts or expressions, so you least expected to have him the subject of the kind of horrid incident that happened with him,” Mr Christie said.
“So I was shocked, but again the question for me is one beyond my friend, the question is unless we are able to come to grips with what is happening at the level of the streets we have a real problem in this country that goes to the root of how we react one to one another. Because it is easy to believe that it is localised and retaliatory where, you shot me and I shot you, but when you see it now begin to stretch and extend itself to people who you least expect to be involved in any kind of underhand activity, who may have just been a victim of circumstance, then you know we have a lot of work to do and a lot of work to do in the immediate future.”
According to Mackey’s Linkedin profile, he is a member of the Bahamas Plays and Films Control Board. He was also once a member of the now defunct National Development Party (NDP) before joining the PLP.
Fort Charlotte MP, Dr Andre Rollins, also expressed condolences over Mackey’s death. Rollins was once leader of the NDP but left the party to join the PLP before Mackey became a part of the group.
“I’m very saddened to learn of the very tragic passing of Latore Mackey. He became a member of the NDP at a time when I was no longer active. Nevertheless, he was a young man who was very much interested in trying to bring about changes in the government,” Dr Rollins said.
Anyone with information on this murder is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.