The beloved roots reggae singer Luciano, also known as the Messenger, is known for soaring anthems like “Sweep Over My Soul” and “It’s Me Again Jah.” But on certain songs his voice suggested an edge of something altogether rougher… …as when he sang  “Rough Inna Town” with Cocoa Tea on the Xterminator label. Or on world-weary cuts like “Ulterior Motive” and “Who Could It Be Now?” and even the title cut to his classic 1995 album Where There Is Life.

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Luciano’s righteous image as a messenger of peace and love was compromised somewhat last February when Freckles, a sound engineer with whom he had a financial dispute, attacked and beat him about the head with a metal pipe. In his own defense, Freckles claimed that he was roughed up during a previous visit to Luciano’s yard.

Then just last Wednesday morning around 5 a.m., police and soliders surrounded a house owned by Luciano, whose real name is Jepther McClymont. The cops were acting on a tip that Andrew Senior, a.k.a. Conqueror, who was wanted for questioning in connection with six murders in Grants Pen, including the shooting of an old lady, was holed up in the house. Just before daybreak X-amount of shots rang out from inside, where Luciano’s empress and two children, aged 5 and 15, risked getting caught in the crossfire. Three police officers were wounded by the fusillade of gunfire, two of them critically. Conqueror reportedly tried to offer one of Luciano’s children as ransom but he later went down in a cloud of teargas and a hail of gunfire. Luciano was not present at the time of the shooting, but questions persist about his relationsip with the notorious gunman, who was supposedly brought in “to defend certain things.”