Exclusive | Linstead butcher laid to rest after being shot at home

Relatives and friends yesterday afternoon gathered at Commodore Cemetery in Linstead, St. Catherine, to pay their last respect to gunshot victim Mitchell Coley, better known as ‘Dave’ and ‘Banny Fish’.

The 52-year-old butcher, who operated inside Linstead Market, was killed by unknown assailants at his home at Forte Street in Linstead on Friday, February 5.

In relation to the incident, the JCF said: “Reports are that, about 6AM, Coley was at home when he was pounced upon by armed men who opened fire at him. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.”

It is said that Coley was preparing to leave his home for work when the gunmen attacked him.

His sister, Althea Coley, who presented the eulogy at the grave-side, said her late brother was the second of four children for his parents.

At one point during childhood, he lived in St. Mary, where he attended Free Hill Primary School as well as Brimmervale High where he spent two years.

Coley returned to Linstead to live with his father and grandmother.

“He take care of his grandmom until she passed some years ago,” the sister told the gathering.

She added: “Banny Fist went on to enjoy his life – a farmer and a butcher by trade. Later, he became a cock fighter and a trainer. He loved his race-horse betting. Dave was a help to everyone who need it or him. He was kind and loving… He was a leader. My brother was a star. Anywhere he is, I know him a shine.”

The sister added that Coley fathered at least five children and was supportive of them.

“He was also a girls man,” she said. “He has three sets of children we know of; there can be more.”

Some of Coley’s children – Kemeala, Kenisha and Alecia, participated in the relatively short ceremony, held amid national restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Most members of the bereaved family wore blue outfits – the theme colour for the send-off.

The relatives, at one point, also paid a special tribute, placing red roses inside Coley’s glass-top casket. Three bottles of ‘Magnum’ liquor and a cigarette were among other items placed inside the casket.

Pastor Patrick Smith, the officiating minister, expressed condolences to the family.

He further commented: “We have to make sure that we live a life that, wherever death meets us, we can say our lives have been fittingly lived.”


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