CAPTAIN Barkey, who gained fame with the 1996 hit, Go Go Wine, was shot dead in the parking lot of a motel in Bronx, New York early yesterday morning.
Police said the burly ex-soldier, whose real name was Wayne Hamilton, and 38-year-old Tracy Bennett were about to leave the motel in her white Toyota Camry when the gunman sprinted out of the darkness and shot them.
"The killer was waiting when the couple emerged from the Holiday Motel around 3:10 am, and he blasted more than two dozen bullets at the helpless duo," the New York Daily News reported witnesses and police as saying.
According to the Daily News, "Hamilton hopped from the passenger seat and tried to escape the hail of bullets that cut him down just outside the motel office".
"The suspect then turned his pistol on the weeping Bennett as she stood next to her parked sedan, its motor still running," the newspaper report added.
Both the Daily News and the New York Post reported witnesses as saying that Bennett pleaded for her life before she, too, was shot dead.
"I looked out my window and saw a lady standing there," the Daily News quoted Ricky Gugliotta, who was staying in a nearby room with some friends celebrating a friend's birthday. "She was begging him not to shoot her, but then he shot her twice and she went down."
The New York Post reported 36-year-old Keshia Barrett as saying that she heard Bennett pleading for her life.
According to the Post, sources said Bennett had a restraining order against the suspect, believed to be her ex-lover.
Witnesses said the shooter, a tall man in a brown shirt, jumped into a car with New York plates and sped off after committing the murders.
The Daily News story said that luggage was still in the couple's hotel room. "They never checked out."
Captain Barkey was a veteran of the sound system circuit. He started deejaying with two Spanish Town sound systems — Stereo One and People's Choice.
He had a few minor hits before topping local charts 16 years ago with Go Go Wine, after which he scored with Bun Fi Bun.
He eventually partnered with fellow deejay Wickerman (real name David Taylor) and the duo put out a number of hits, recording for giant dancehall producers King Jammys and Steelie and Clevie.
Last night, Wickerman said he and Barkey performed at a series of festivals in Belgium and Germany in August this year.
He said that at the end of the tour Barkey stopped in New York.
"He was a jovial guy. Barkey made you laugh on any given day, even when you're down," Wickerman told the Jamaica Observer.
Ralston Barrett, who managed the duo from 1999 to 2001, said Captain Barkey was a "genuine and sincere guy".
"He was always jovial, very professional. Barkey was always talking about his kids," Barrett said.