NASSAU, Bahamas — Latore Mackey, Prime Minister Christie’s press secretary at the Bahamas Information Service (BIS), was murdered in the early hours of this morning on Nassau’s Market Street.
Mr. Mackey, who was Deputy Director of the BIS, was reportedly shot in the neck at around 4:30 a.m in his Government issued vehicle, which crashed into a utility pole after the shooting incident.
His murder was the fifth in the past 24 hours and brings to 83 the number of murders in The Bahamas for the year thus far, according the Bahamas Tribune.
While the Royal Bahamas Police Force has not yet established a motive for the crime, a Tribune report cites an eyewitness account which claims that two men were heard arguing before three gunshots were fired and Mackey’s jeep crashed.
Mackey was the owner of Blue Reef Sports Bar and Lounge on Saunders Beach, and a Tribune source claims that he was giving a lift to one of the bar’s employees before he was killed, while the Nassau Guardian claims that Mackey was found with several thousand dollars in cash on him when officers arrived at the scene.
Prime Minister Perry Christie told the Tribune that he was deeply saddened to hear of Mackey’s brutal murder.
“When I arrived back in the Bahamas yesterday, as is usual the Commissioner of Police 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.”
Mackey was a member of the now-defunct National Development Party (NDP) before joining the ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP). According to Mr. Christie, the two became acquainted in the lead-up to the 2012 general election, and Christie “assisted” Mackey with getting a job at the BIS after the PLP claimed victory at the polls.
“(Mackey) 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.”
Fred Mitchell, Bahamian Foreign Minister, briefly eulogised Mackey in remarks at a political event in Nassau Paradise Island: “Mr. Mackey served the government with all his talents and abilities. He was loyal and dedicated. In the run up to the 2012 general election, I sought to persuade him to come in from the cold as an activist and join us in the Progressive Liberal Party and he did. Once he joined he took to the role in the public relations and marketing arm of the PLP, working out of the War Room like a fish in water”, he said.
He carried out excellent work at the Bahamas Information Services and in the Office of the Prime Minister. He was the future of our party.Fred Mitchell, Bahamian Foreign Minister
Mr. Mitchell further charged PLP stalwarts to win the 2017 general elections in honour of Mackey.
Bahamian Police are asking anyone with information on this murder to contact them at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.
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 August 26, 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.