Ex-cop’s murder believed to be linked to viral nightclub brawl
Andre Williams/Staff Reporter email@example.com
INVESTIGATORS YESTERDAY revealed that preliminary accounts have suggested that a deadly early morning double shooting in the parking lot of Market Place, located off Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, might be connected to a recent nightclub brawl.
Homicide detectives told The Gleaner they visited at least two Corporate Area locations yesterday as part of their probe.
A video snippet of the Club Mecca incident, which the police said took place on Saturday, has gone viral and shows what appears to be bouncers at the club manhandling at least one patron.
Bar tables, chairs and bottles were not spared as an unknown individual, clad in jeans and white T-shirt with a black duffle bag, was thrown and dragged about.
Just days later, Damian ‘Panda’ Coley, a former policeman and the club’s security personnel, was one of two men shot around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The other man, also a security guard at the 67 Constant Spring Road location, but not employed to the club, received gunshot wounds to the chest.
Coley, who is of a Spanish Town, St Catherine address, died on arrival at the Kingston Public Hospital while the injured man was rushed to surgery.
His condition was not disclosed. Reports from the St Andrew Central Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are that a l one gunman armed with a firearm exited a white Toyota Axio that was parked near the Market Place entrance gate along Constant Spring Road.
The gunman reportedly engaged a guard at the security post before walking i nto the parking area and towards an area where shops are located.
As Coley exited his Ford Explorer SUV, the gunman opened fire, hitting the former lawman several times.
While leaving the scene, the gunman fired his weapon again, hitting the guard with whom he earlier had dialogue, and continued shooting until he escaped in the waiting motor vehicle.
The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) confirmed reports of the deadly double shooting and police investigation.
RESIGNED LAST YEAR
The Gleaner understands that Coley resigned from the JCF last year and was last assigned to the training school branch.
Investigators close to the probe told The Gleaner that the now deceased man was shot at least five times.
“The last time I checked, he was at training school. Is a good bredda. I was surprised when I saw the news. Is The Gleaner I saw it on first and say, ‘Then this real?’ When I called another colleague who knew him, I was told he had resigned the force and doing good for himself,” a former colleague told The Gleaner.
Market Place has, over the past year, returned to being the go-to location in the Corporate Area for its nightly offering inside Mecca, a club and lounge.
However, Tuesday was the second time this year that a shooting incident has occurred at the location.
On July 7, six members of dancehall artiste Jahshii’s entourage were shot and injured while they were leaving Market Place.
The entertainer’s birthday party had just concluded at the popular nightclub.
A vendor who earns a livelihood catering to the many needs of patrons told The Gleaner that it would be a shame to see his sales slow or be cut altogether just before the busy Christmas period.
“The foolishness and bag a gunslinging nah go nowhere. People fi can go out and enjoy themselves without bad vibe. The place nice right tru. Dolly Sundays gwaan over there and everybody come here. A the Christmas a come and watch deh,” the vendor said.
Up to early yesterday, investigators were still at the location trying to piece together clues.
In the meantime, the St Andrew Central Police Division has recorded 47 murders as at November 25.
This represents a 34 per cent decline when compared to the similar period last year.
In contrast, however, shooting has recorded an increase.
There were 57 reported incidents when compared to 52 for the corresponding period in 2022.
The national murder toll, according to the JCF, is 1,253, a 10 per cent reduction year-on-year.