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Jul 17, 2014

Another Brazen Early Morning City Execution in the City

Lionel Sampson

The area of the Raccoon Street Extension is quickly becoming a hotspot in the south side of Belize City. Four shootings, three of which ended in murder, have occurred in that area in the past two weeks. It started with the shooting of PIV leader, Edwin “Drive” Flowers, on Neal Penn Road extension. While he survived the violence, Dwayne Hilton, Julio Mendoza and now Lionel Sampson have been gunned down and killed in the neighborhood within days. The sounds of gunfire shook up residents near the Raccoon Street Extension early this morning.  Twenty-eight year old Sampson was heading to his house along with a woman when he was murdered execution style. As many as five shots were fired on his upper body. Sampson, who is affiliated to the PIV gang, died on the spot; his friend, however, was unscathed. Sampson, says his mother, was attempting to clean up his act since the birth of his baby three months ago.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Shortly after six o’clock this morning, twenty-eight-year-old Lionel Sampson, no stranger to police, was executed gangland style in the vicinity of Raccoon Street Extension.  Sampson was gunned down by an unknown assailant as he walked along a backstreet a short distance from where he lived.  His mother was at home when she received word of the fatal shooting around the corner.

 

Evelyn Ovado

Evelyn Ovado, Mother of Deceased

“One ah di neighba just come and hail me and tell me that Lionel get shoot up round deh and when I went out there I saw him lying on the street.  I heard that he had an argument with somebody, he was walking with a female and after that he had a hard and Italk with somebody but I do not know what happened.”

 

According to Sergeant Ismael Westby, as many as five shots were fired, hitting Sampson multiple times to the body.

 

Ismael Westby

Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 3, Belize City Police

“This morning, sometime about 6:24 a.m., police responded to Gravies Street, Belize City, which is in the Raccoon Street Extension area, where upon their arrival there they saw the motionless body of Lionel Sampson, twenty-eight-years-old of number thirty-one Iguana Street Extension suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper part of the body.”

 

Meanwhile, Evelyn Ovado also describes what she saw at the scene of the fatal shooting.

 

Evelyn Ovado

“Well I observed a bullet hole, because he was faced down, a bullet hole in the back of his head, by his side and he was just laying down there already dead.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Were residents in that area or eyewitnesses, or people who gathered around to see, [did they] tell you anything?”

 

Evelyn Ovado

“Nobody told me nothing, just that a crowd was out there but nobody told me nothing because it was early in the morning, about five past six, six to five past six but nobody told me nothing.”

 

In September 2012, Sampson, along with several others, including Evelyn Ovado and a pregnant woman, was detained by the Gang Suppression Unit, following a search which yielded a nine millimeter Smith and Wesson pistol hidden inside a residence on Sister Teresa Sparks Street.

 

Sgt. Ismael Westby

“In the police department we know that Lionel Sampson have been a well-known person or individual who have been connected with different crimes and with gang issues within the city and we are looking at an angle of some of his past causes within crime and the gang issues that we are facing and we believe that that could be one of the motives.”

 

Despite his previous run-ins with the law, Sampson’s mother says that he was working on becoming a better person since the birth of his child three months ago.

 

Evelyn Ovado

“Lionel did have his past with the law but after all he is still my son.  He was still loved.  He didn’t live here but he was still loved, so I’ve tried to put the past behind me and grieve for my son. From he had the baby three months ago, he changed.  He was a father [who was] always on his cycle riding the baby.  He took good care of his child.  His birthday would have been the twenty-ninth of this month, two weeks coming but he is a different person from long ago.”

 

In the wake of the murder, a pair of Belize City men has been taken into police custody.

 

Sgt. Ismael Westby

“We have two persons detained at present.  We are conducting questioning as our procedures carry on with the investigation but so far nothing concrete as to any charges so far.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Another Brazen Early Morning City Execution in the City”

  1. Rod says:

    This makes 4533 murders and counting but the police say it’s only the media making it look bad.

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