Slain pharmacist hailed as humanitarian
Although it appeared as if it was business as usual inside Your Choice Family Pharmacy in Linstead, St Catherine, on Tuesday, that was far from the reality.
The staff are grief-stricken following the brutal slaying of their boss Deslan White. The 47-year-old died on Sunday, a day after he was shot by gunmen as he headed to his home in Jericho, a nearby community. News of his death sent shockwaves throughout the community. Among those mourning is Linton Palmer, who has worked at the pharmacy for years.
"We are in grief about what happened to our boss and we are just in shock. It has been very hard and it's like we can't go through. He was a very good person and he was a people person. There is no one that could ever replace Mr White. Words can't express the type of person Mr White was. Mr White was a pure gem," Palmer said.
Cora Clemetson and Julie Thompson of the Kiwanis Club of Linstead offered floral tributes for the late businessman who they hailed as a community stalwart.
"He has been a friend to all the families in Linstead and the adjoining areas. He has been very helpful to the Kiwanis Club of Linstead and that is why we are here to honour him," Clemetson said.
Police are still probing the motive behind White's death and Clemetson said she could not think of a single reason why anyone would want to hurt the man who she said had everyone's best interest at heart.
"He was a people person and he does not say no when he can say yes. He knows everybody that fills a prescription at his pharmacy. Him even know who a wife and husband and he can call you by his name. I don't see why anyone would want to kill him like that, like a wild animal. He was a son of the soil," he said.
White worked at another pharmacy for years before starting his own about a decade ago. According to Thompson , White was a humanitarian.
"He is a deacon in the Baptist church and he treats his staff humanely. He does not deserve the death that he got. If anyone should come here and don't have enough money, he will give them the medication and tell them to come and pay at a later date. Some of them won't, but that didn't matter to him. He had another business and was just always helping others. It was like he couldn't say no," Thompson said.
White is the third individual who was killed in Linstead in almost a month. On May 12, 55-year-old Marcia Smith of Treadways district was shot and killed at the stall that she operated in the market for years. Days later, another vendor, 43-year-old Carvett Chue, was murdered at his stall.
Thompson said she is hoping that the relevant stakeholders will organise a suitable crime plan.
"We are all concerned because we don't know who is next or why they are next. The market burn down and there was a killing in the market and so on. We have to go back to the drawing board to see what can be done to get Linstead town to be law-abiding. People can't be shooting people like that like it's bird season," Thompson said.