Newsmaker: Singer’s death believed to be retaliation for son’s ‘deeds’ | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

This week’s featured development as Newsmaker of the Week just ended is the shocking murder of lead vocalist for the Mighty Diamonds group of veteran singers, Donald ‘Tabby Diamond’ Shaw, on McKinley Crescent in St Andrew on Tuesday night.

The killing of the musician jolted the nation and sent shockwaves throughout the global reggae community, as the Mighty Diamonds was renowned for thought-provoking, conscious lyrics in hits such as ‘I Need a Roof’, ‘Right Time’ and ‘Pass the Kouchie’.

The police have so far theorised that Shaw’s killing was a likely reprisal, as the singer’s son was recently held by the police in relation to a murder.

That bit of information by the police have rehashed the old proverb, “If you can’t ketch Quako, you ketch him shut”, meaning that the gunmen allegedly went after their real target’s father.

And in only a few days, the revered Mighty Diamonds musical trio was reduced to only one member.

Singer Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson passed away on Friday morning in a Kingston hospital after a long battle with diabetes. He was 71 years old.

“I can’t deal with this… it’s tough. The second one of the Mighty Diamonds to pass away in four (three) days. He died this morning in hospital. He had been sick for a while,” said Frankie Campbell, Chairman of Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA).

“To lose Tabby and Bunny so close together is a hard thing to deal with,” added Campbell.

The tragic week for Mighty Diamonds fans began on Tuesday night.

In a video, Tabby Diamond was seen in a merry mood, quite oblivious to the fate that would befall him only moments later. In essence, it was his last dance to the musical genre that he dedicated his musical career to.

According to police reports, Shaw was among a group of people standing at a shop on McKinley Crescent when they were sprayed with bullets at about 9:45 pm on Tuesday.

Residents rushed the injured persons to hospital, where Shaw and another man, Owen Beckford, were pronounced dead, and three other persons were admitted for treatment.

Speaking on Wednesday, Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson, now the only remaining member of the Mighty Diamonds that was formed in 1969, said Shaw will be missed.

“Tabby was one of the great soul singers, I knew him from 1969. We did 46 albums and a whole heap of singles together. We toured the world. He will be greatly missed,” said Ferguson.

“We had plans to tour Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. We were doing our 47th album, plus we had two more albums for other producers… I don’t know what is going to happen going forward,” he added.

The Mighty Diamonds was signed by Virgin Records and their album, ‘Right Time’, was released in 1976, becoming an international success.

Their next album, ‘Deeper Roots’, was released in 1979, and was also a big success.

The musical trio has received several local and international honours. Among those accolades was the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class, which they received in 2021 on Jamaica’s 59th anniversary of independence.

But the question on everyone’s mind, especially prior to the emergence of the police theory, was what could have caused such a fate for Shaw in the twilight years of his life.

A possible answer to that question was given by head of the St Andrew South Police Division, Senior Superintendent Kirk Ricketts, on Wednesday.

He told Loop News that preliminary intelligence indicated that the incident might be linked to ongoing gang conflict in the area.

In fact, investigators are now trying to figure out if the alleged “activities” of Shaw’s son, who Ricketts claimed is a “known violence producer”, might have resulted in his father’s death.

“Of the five persons affected by the incident, we have observed that Mr Shaw has a son who is known to us. In fact, the son is currently in custody (for murder); he is a known violence producer from this particular area,” said Ricketts.

“Intelligence assessment is now being done to see if the son’s activities could have led to his father being targeted,” he added.

There has been no update as to whether any suspects have been arrested in relation to the double killing and injury of three others.

Across the social media landscape, several individuals reflected on the revelation from the senior cop that Shaw’s killing could have been a retaliation for the alleged actions of his son.

Amid the reflections and the opinions, there were heartfelt tributes for the man who made a significant contribution to Jamaican popular music.

Facebook user, Yokie Price, opined: “Me did know enuh, me seh a must some family or pickney smh. See why me tell ppl say give them up to police ’cause 99% ah the time wen them rival caan hold them, a u them a come fah smh.”

Another user of that platform, Michelle Bajraktarevic, asserted that the circumstances, if true as stated by the police, are a reminder that proper parenting is key.

“That’s why it’s important to either raise your children properly or keep them far from you if they into the mix-up or wutliss lifestyle. There is no reward for sinking with their ship, only despair, and if you don’t mind sharp, death!” she declared.

The Mighty Diamonds

In responding to her comment, Purpose Standing Nadia, a Facebook user, said:

“Michelle Bajraktarevic all when u try fi raise them good, seven brothers, seven different minds”.

Commented Debbie Hull: “Sometimes our own children are our downfall. Sad lost for the reggae music. Rip Tabby.”

In chiming in on the conversation, Carlene Lyle Edwards questioned on the basis of the police theory, “Why some of these children always in mix up and let they come and kill parents?”

She added, paraphrasing the popular proverb, “Can’t ketch Quako, u ketch di shut; this is what going on now.”

For Facebook user, Michael Thompson, it remains critical for all parents to start showing affection and care to their children in order to steer them away from crime.

“Parents start hugging your children and expressing your love. If the killer of Tabby Diamond had experienced love, he would have thought before he pulled the trigger,” Thompson opined.

Continuing, he said: “One of my younger sister was brutally murdered and I did not avenge for what happened.

“My brother who is a senior warden at the same prison where this man is serving a life sentence, looks the other way and leave all vengeance to God… Tabby’s son may have (allegedly) hurt another family, but that’s no excuse to take out a legend… Love still conquers all… Sleep in peace, Tabby, you gave us great joy!!” shared Thompson.

Still, Barbara Johnson said parents must make tough decisions once they notice their children taking a certain direction.

“Sometimes you have to make a very difficult decision to leave the family home when u realise the path your children have chosen….#StartOverElsewhere,” she urged parents.

For Evonne Rainford, situations where gunmen purportedly strike down family members or close associates of their enemies are not surprising.

“A so it goes now in this country; you have bad pickney or bad family members who mix up in a badness, then you have to expect to die for them when they can’t catch them. Really sad though,” she wrote.

Amid those opinions, she remembered her young days listening to Shaw as he sung on numerous hits by the Mighty Diamonds.

“God know from a child growing up I love listening to the Mighty Diamond(s). (He) was such a beautiful soul. Wow what a voice! Condolences to the family,” wrote Rainford.

Other social commentators stayed far from the circumstances surrounding the singer’s death, and reflected, rather, on his musical prowess.

Attorney Clive Mullings, in commenting on the singer’s passing on Twitter, described Shaw as “great”.

“RIP the great Tabby Diamond. Cut down at 67 by merchants of death. He leaves behind a legacy of love and conscious music. Condolences to his family and the Mighty Diamonds. The message is in the music, but not all receive it. Demons among us,” stated Mullings.

Veteran entertainer, Nadine Sutherland, tweeted: “Respect! One of the best voices in the reggae music industry. You gave the world a lot of joy. Rest king.”

Another Jamaican singer, Leroy Sibbles, tweeted: “Condolence to the family of my good bredren ‘Tabby’ from The Mighty Diamonds & 1970s at Channel One Studio.”

Sibbles also uploaded a 2016 photograph in which he said both himself and Shaw were honoured for their musical contribution at a Startime Mas Camp Jamaica event.

Leroy Sibbles

Also reacting on Twitter to Shaw’s passing was public commentator, Latoya West Blackwood, who said that, “I’ve known the voice of Tabby Diamond ever since I’ve known myself”.

She added: “We are cutting down our cultural heroes and elders one by one, while struggling to replace their depth, light, and commitment to being a force for positive change through arts in this world.”

Nadine White, a race correspondent and columnist at the UK’s Independent newspaper, shared that “The Mighty Diamonds’ melodies provided the soundtrack to my childhood years and I’ve carried the music from that point onwards – for inspiration, reflection, guidance and healing.”

Continuing, she said: “Tabby Diamond may not have known how many lives he touched and changed for the better. But I hope he did.

“Many see themselves through his lyrics & feel a little less lonely in this gideon because of him, them. What a senseless tragedy. Love to the legend’s family & friends,” White tweeted.

For other social media users, it is important for the police to apprehend those who are responsible for the icon’s brutal killing.

Shared Royalton D’Cambre: “The music industry with their wide influence and contacts across the entire spectrum of our society should now take a hand in identifying the killers and some form of swift justice to follow.

“This could be the turning point of sheltering criminals,” he added.

Facebook user, Man InThe Hillz, wrote: “The artiste survived all the atrocities of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 21 years in the 2000s, only to lose his life suh my youth. No stone must left unturned until them find out who done this.”

Maureen McLeod alluded to the fact that Shaw was in a festive mood, as seen in a video, moments before the shooting incident.

“We really don’t know the hour, as he was enjoying his last dance. I believe in living life to the fullest, have a clean heart and hands, and try to impact someone else’s life positively,” she said.

By Friday, the musical trio dwindled to only one member with the news that another member, Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson, had died.

Simpson suffered a minor stroke on October 26, 2015 while driving in Kingston, said his wife, Sylvia. He had reportedly been battling diabetes for several years.

His death, like that of Shaw’s, was equally shocking to many.

“First Tabby, now Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson. Hard to believe. Sad,” tweeted businessman Wayne Chen.

Commented Paulette Jackson: “Prayers for the surviving member; must be a difficult time for him”.