The Boston Globe
September 13, 1987
Associated Press

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Three gunmen trying to rob reggae star Peter Tosh at his home killed him and another man and wounded five persons when they could not find money, police reported yesterday.

They said the killers arrived on motorcycles Friday night, forced their way into the house, ordered everyone to lie face down on the floor, searched the victims and rooms for cash and then opened fire.

Tosh and Wilton (Doc) Brown, a maker of health food potions from plants, died from their wounds en route to a hospital, according to the police.

Wounded were Tosh’s longtime companion, Andrea Marlene Brown; Carlton Santa Davis, a drummer in Tosh’s band; Michael Robinson, another musician; disc jockey Jeff Dixon; and his wife, Yvonne.

Dixon, who worked for the Jamaica Broadcasting Corp., was listed in critial condition at the University Hospital of the West Indies with a bullet wound in the head. His wife was treated and released and the three others were reported to be in stable condition.

A detective, speaking on the condition he not be identified, said police have tentatively identified the killers but no arrests have been made.

Jamaicans reacted with sorrow and anger to the death of Tosh, who with Bob Marley and Neville Livingstone formed the three-man core of the the Wailers. The group is credited with making reggae popular far beyond the shores of this verdant, English-speaking island.

Outside of Jamaica, Tosh, 42, was perhaps best known for his collaboration with Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger in “Walk and Don’t Look Back.”

As news of his murder was broadcast, fans gathered near Tosh’s home and at the hospital, and radio stations played his songs by the hour.

Tosh was born Winston Herbert MacIntosh on Oct. 9, 1944, on a farm in west Jamaica.

His first concerts were in Kingston’s teeming slums in the early 1960s. In 1963, he helped found The Wailers and gained fame with hits including “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “Stir it Up.”

Tosh and Livingstone left the band in 1973, just as the album “Catch a Fire” was winning reggae an international audience.

Tosh formed his own band — Word, Sound and Power — and wrote songs characterized by their political content. “Mama Africa” denounced apartheid in South Africa; “Legalize It” favored the legalization of marijuana.

In 1978, before a Kingston crowd of 30,000 that included then-Prime Minister Michael Manley, Tosh smoked a big marijuana cigarette on stage and berated Manley for 30 minutes for not legalizing “ganja.”