Categorized | National News

“A Nation Traumatised”–Spate of crime is crippling the country, says leading psychiatrist

While police officials have not confirmed his identity, the Journal has learned that the prime minister’s press liaison officer and Deputy Director of Bahamas Information Services (BIS) Latore Mackey was gunned down early Monday morning.

According to police, the 37-year-old received a bullet to the neck.

When the Bahama Journal arrived at the murder scene just off Market Street after 5:00 a.m., police could be seen combing the area for clues as well as dusting what appeared to be a black van with red and white government license plates attached.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson, shortly after 4:00 a.m. police received information that gunshots were heard through White Road.

“Detectives who were on patrol at the time observed a black vehicle parked in the middle of the road,” he said.

“This vehicle appeared to have crashed into a lamp pole. Upon checking the vehicle they found the body of a man leaning on the right side. He had apparent gunshot wounds to the neck. EMS personnel were called, arrived on the scene and found that there were no signs of life.”

Up to press time, police said they did not have a motive for the crime or had captured any suspects.

Mackey’s murder rounded up another bloody weekend where this time five people were killed in separate incidents.

The spate of bloody crimes that has occurred in the country in recent months has left the nation traumatised and in a state of hopelessness, said Psychiatrist Dr. David Allen, who said yesterday that the climbing murder toll is damaging the country’s psyche.

Dr. Allen who spoke to the Bahama Journal shortly after completing a counseling session with the family of a murder victim gunned down in the Kemp Road area over the weekend said these incidents of violence have sent a shockwave that can be felt all over the country.

“Every Bahamian has a social network of at least 100 people so if you got killed tonight at least 100 people could be affected,” he said. “That means the ones you went to school with, the ones you who went to church with, your family and neighbours. So if you add up the amount of people impacted after nearly a hundred people are killed, you will see that The Bahamas, particularly, our little island of New Providence is left traumatised.”

Mackey was attached to the Office of the Prime Minister and was responsible for providing the press with details of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s speaking engagements, appearances and disseminating his speeches and other material for publication.

“I was absolutely shocked,” Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters Monday afternoon.

“When I arrived back home [Sunday] the commissioner of police met me and he briefed me about the heavy weekend of shootings and murders so going into Sunday evening I was preoccupied with the thought of what it is we have to do with our crime strategies. When I was called [Monday] morning about this young man who helped during the elections and assigned to me after the elections who appeared to be a person of such equanimity, calm and no violent thoughts, I was just shocked and knew that more has to be done. We have to continue to work on this crime situation in this country.”

Before joining the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), where he served on the party’s communications and press team during the last general elections, Mackey was a member of the National Development Party (NDP).

Before heading into the House of Assembly yesterday, the Journal also spoke with several PLP members whose overall mood was one of shock.

“He was a young man who had a bright future,” according to Sea Breeze MP Hope Strachan.

“He was very dedicated to his work and what he was doing. He handled himself very professionally and always had a professional word. He and I talked often about politics and the country and so he was a man who had so much to offer.”

Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell said Mackey was extremely instrumental for the PLP in the run-up to the May 2012 General Election.

“He came to the PLP and was part of the information team and helped us put messaging together for the general election,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“In order to get where we have you have to have people working behind the scenes to make that possible and he was one of the people who did that. He had a good future in politics and this is just stunning for me. For his life to be snuffed out in this way is just terribly tragic considering we felt he was going to be around for several more elections helping to build this organisation.”

Bamboo Town MP and former NDP Leader Renward Wells said he knew Mackey for six years.

“He brought a sense of clear thinking in a lot of areas,” Mr. Wells said.

“He was a good marketing strategist and one that I would call a Bahamian patriot because he believed in the economic empowerment of Bahamians and deepening democracy and it was always good to sit down with him to plan out what we were going to do. He was very ardent about us joining the PLP and for me and all of us it is a very sad day.”

Southern Shores MP Kenred Dorsett described the entire ordeal as “very tragic.”

“He was a very bright young man and one of the bright stars in the PLP,” he said.

“He provided invaluable service to us especially during the election campaign. His work spoke for itself.”

To get a better sense of how more of his work colleagues were taking the news, the Journal also visited the BIS office Monday morning where Anglican Priest Father James Palacious was offering staff counseling and prayers.

Mackey’s death brings the country’s homicide count to 82 for the year.
Police say if you have any information that can assist them to call them anonymously at 502-9991 or CRIME STOPPERS at 328-TIPS (3289-8477).

Written by Jones Bahamas

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