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Jun 11, 2014

Brass of police says that recent spate of shootings is gang related

Gang rivalry was at the root of a spate of shootings that started over the weekend and continued through Tuesday. As many as nine persons were shot and injured including Rafael Cruz, who is clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was ambushed on Tuesday morning. Then on Sunday, five persons were wounded when gunmen attacked guests at a graduation party. The string of shootings started when a female minor was injured while in the company of her boyfriend and another person. Police told the media today that all the shootings are related. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The unabated rash of shootings in Belize City, beginning with a bold attack on the occupants of this vehicle during the predawn hours of Sunday morning, is reportedly the result of a personal grudge between known rivals from the George Street and Ghost Town gangs.  As reported on Monday, sixteen-year-old Corine Cory White became the unintended target of a lone gunman who rode up on them near the intersections of Newtown Barracks and Calle al Mar.  The minor was in the company of two others when gunfire erupted.  The assault would trigger a series of incidents culminating with a mid-afternoon shooting on Victoria Street on Tuesday.

 

Miguel Segura

Miguel Segura, Assistant Commissioner of Police

“The incident at the Princess occurred in one of those nightclubs and from there the personal issues and conflicts that they had, it is now being taken outside of the scope and generating now from gangs to gangs now.  During the course of that first investigation we were aware, as all incidents we do proper analysis and mitigation, in terms of we were expecting retaliation and normally when we expect retaliation we put buffers, we put patrols in the areas.  The question was where and who.”

 

Those uncertainties were answered less than twenty-four hours later when guests came under attack by a pair of men who invited themselves to a graduation party at the Brown Sugar Mall.  The armed confrontation, it turns out, was simply a reprisal.

 

Miguel Segura

“Subsequently, we know that the other incident was at Brown Sugar where that unfortunate incident occurred and there were five victims, of which one is very critical and I understand he’s brain dead, I understand. It’s still under investigation, especially the Brown Sugar, [we’re] still getting all the witnesses and people that were there.  The crime scene has been reconstructed, reconstruction of that scene and, at the end of the day, once we have that evidence that meets a prospective towards a conviction we will arrest and charge.”

 

Kirk Smith Jr. is believed to be one of two men who let loose on the partygoers foolhardily.  It is unclear however, whether he was shot by someone who produced a firearm in self-defense or if he was caught by friendly fire.  His prognosis nonetheless, remains grim.  This too would be avenged.

 

Miguel Segura

“Further to that we had in the early morning, right around this neighborhood, another unfortunate incident and the last one in the afternoon.  The analysis of this case, as I mentioned, it started on a personal note in the nightclub and this could have been dealt with on a person to person [basis] and it should have been resolved but then it has escalated now that it has gotten now between a gang to gang and that is why we said other incidents.”

 

That other incident, an attack on an individual near Victoria Street, was also part of the violent exchange.

 

Miguel Segura

“We boosted up our patrols, as you have seen, in the key areas.  We have the preventative patrols, operational aspects, the stop and search because we have seen that the people are moving on bicycles, motorcycles and we shall enforce all of those infringements if we see vehicles that have been tinted, you have seen the bridges and all the operations that need to be done.”

 

While the police department has deployed additional boots on the ground, the role of the respective leaders cannot be overlooked.  In this case, a meeting has been convened with the bosses of both Ghost Town and George Street.

 

Miguel Segura

“Most of the key players, whilst it’s just like a father figure, they are telling them, I would call them like interrupters, but whilst they are telling them they are [also] saying that they are not responsible for those individual actions.”

 

Despite an arrest being made in one of the shootings, no charges have been brought thus far against the suspect. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “Brass of police says that recent spate of shootings is gang related”

  1. Rod says:

    This man said a lot of nothingness meaningless rubbish not once did he he mention how this gov will deal with all the murders no solutions at all except the same old things that haven’t worked in the past and will not work in the future so the bodies keep piling up at the morgue with no end in site what a useless impotent pm and gov. Fu gods sake do something about all the senseless murders bring back the hanging penalty bring it back now.

  2. Truth says:

    At ROD, do you you know what hierarchy is? learn it then your comment will be smarter. Also if someone wants to do something, that person will do it. You, me, the police can do as much as we could but at the end of the day, we dont know what the gun man will do, when he will do it. Thats what gang life is. The police can use statistics and spying to track the movements but at the end of the day, brute force determination will eventually cause to gun man to make his move.

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