Days after he released a “diss track” directing obscenities and threats at an alleged gang leader Trinibad artiste Antonio “Wacko Dan” Reyes was gunned down outside the home of relatives in St Ann’s yesterday morning.
Although police said Reyes’ murder was gang-related, residents in Symond Valley Road believe he was killed because of a video he posted on YouTube seven days ago.
Reyes, 22, visited his sister at around 8 am yesterday and was across the street seated on a concrete bench liming and smoking with two friends when a white Hilux stopped and two gunmen alighted.
Eyewitnesses said the men, dressed in black with bullet-proof vests, masks and military-style boots, began shooting at Reyes and his friends. The two other men ran off and the gunmen suspects walked up to Reyes and shot him multiple times at close range before they got into the waiting van and drove off.
Reyes died at the scene. Police and onlookers said he was shot so badly that his face was almost unrecognisable.
The shooting, which occurred around 8.10 am, sent shock waves through the area. As residents ventured out to mourn the slaying of the Trinibad artiste, they expressed concern that his choice of song and lyrics had marked him for death.
Pointing to the spot where Reyes was killed, one woman said: “Entertainment is what is have him lying down there.”
“The type of music he chose is what cause he death. He should have followed Michael Jackson and do pop and soul. He woulda still be alive.”
Another resident said while Reyes was not disrespectful, “his mouth always seemed to get him in trouble.”
He was described as bright, ambitious and hard-working.
An elderly woman, who didn’t give her name, agreed: “It was his mouth…them things he was singing that get him trouble. A little calypso would have worked for him. A conscious or a wine and jam, anything, but he chose that kinda music and was saying things he doh mean and look where he end up.”
Many of the residents, who said they already observe a nightly curfew from 8 pm, said they would not get off the streets by 6 pm.
“This here is one of the most boring place to be. It quiet, it nice, but by 7 pm, everything shut down. Nothing interesting happening in St Ann’s,” a woman said.
The last incident of gun violence involving a Trinibad artiste occurred last September when gunmen reportedly opened fire on the Carenage home of an entertainer who now lives in the US.
Several Trinibad artistes have been killed since July 2020. Last May, N’Kosi “Fari Dan” Bovell was shot dead whilst liming with friends in Tobago. Last July Carlton “CJ Dan” Campbell was gunned down along with three others at Damien Bay, Maracas. The following month, Daniel “Mad Dog” Hamilton was killed outside his home in Moruga.
In October 2021, Keenan “Craigman” Craig was shot dead by an unknown man as he went to purchase food. In September 2021, Josiah “Siah Boss” Mc Clatchie was killed in an alleged shoot-out with police in Santa Cruz, days after Jaheim “Chucky Blanco” Joseph was shot by police during an exercise in Laventille.
In July 2020, Kyle “Rebel Sixx” George was shot dead in his living room by two masked men as he played video games.
There was an attempt on the life of Kalonji Arthur last September in the parking lot of the Brix Hotel, Cascade. He suffered injuries to his legs but his girlfriend Bridget James was killed.
Trinibad is a musical genre inspired by Jamaican dancehall music that focuses on crime and features “gunman” lyrics.