MIAMI, USA (CMC) — Joseph Kernizan, the Haitian national suspected to have killed deejay Captain Barkey and his companion Tracy Bennet outside a New York motel early Saturday morning, killed himself as police moved to arrest him at his North Miami apartment early yesterday.
The US Marshalls’ fugitive taskforce followed Kernizan from New York to North Miami after he reportedly shot and killed Tracy Bennett, 38, and popular reggae singer Wayne Hamilton, 50, outside the Holiday Motel on Saturday.
Hamilton, a veteran Jamaican dancehall artiste, used the stage name Captain Barkey.
Kernizan had two children by Bennett. Police said that she had a restraining order on him.
Barry Golden, a spokesman with the US Marshalls office, said that law enforcement officials had arrived at the North Miami quadruplex late Tuesday night and had surrounded the building.
“We surrounded that location from all sides. We pulled in one of our vehicles, we had lights and a PA and we asked for residents of the apartments to step outside,” he said.
Investigators said that Kernizan at one point stuck his head out of a ground-floor apartment window and attempted to run out a back door, but stopped when he saw other police officers.
Minutes later, someone who had been inside the apartment with Kernizan came out and police heard shots.
“When we went in, he was dead,” Golden said, adding that the suspect had shot himself. Police said that they found three handguns and two loaded AK-47 guns at the scene.
Kernizan, also known as “Country”, was a promoter of NuLook, a well known and popular konpa band on the Haitian music scene.
Police began searching for him after he was positively identified by witnesses as the person who shot and killed Bennett, 38, and her lover Hamilton.
Barkey is best known for the mid-‘90s dancehall reggae hits Go Go Wine and Bun Fi Bun.
Friends said that the married Hamilton, whose wife at home in Milwaukee did not know about his relationship with Bennett, also may have baited Kernizan in a 2010 song called Nah Lef Joe.
A friend of Bennett’s told the Daily News that the song was about Bennett and Kernizan, although other followers of the reggae/dancehall genre say it may have been about cheating in general.
Friends said that the pair secretly dated for five years.