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Apr 28, 2015

Taxi Driver Succumbs to Gunshot Injuries in Wake of Weekend Carnage

Egbert Hemmans

At eight-twelve on Monday night when the medical officers would pronounce Wayne Rocke dead, they were called to the bedside of fifty-five year old Egbert Hemmans to record his death. Hemmans was admitted in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Sunday morning when he drove himself to the Emergency Ward after being shot twice when Mark Medina was executed on Iguana Street. Today, his family grieves the passing of the man who picked up a fare and lost his life in the cycle of violence. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after eight Monday night, Egbert Hemmans succumbed to gunshot injuries to the abdomen and chest following a broad daylight shooting on Sunday morning. The fifty-five year old taxi operator became a casualty of the murder of thirty-one year old Mark Medina, who was executed on Iguana Street as he exited the vehicle. The incident has now become a case of double murder.

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., CIB, Eastern Division

“Mister Hemmans was pronounced dead yesterday around 8:20 p.m.; that post mortem will be conducted sometime today.”

 

Duane Moody

“What’s the next step given now that the shooting on Sunday morning has become a double murder?”

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Yes, we do not have anybody in custody for those murders; our investigations continue.”

 

Tyrone Sampson

Tyrone Sampson, Caye Caulker Land Taxi Association

“He was a very quite young man, peaceful young man who would pick up anybody and ker anybody anywhere. Even if yo dah dead dog he wah look fi pick yo up and ker everybody. It is a great loss to mankind for this man to go because he was one of those peaceful young man. But this just goes to show you that yo can’t pick up anybody and friends noh play no role. Even if dah friends yo born and grow up with and yo know they are going the wrong path, you need to broke that away. Stay away from them because this is a tragedy.”

 

Medina had reportedly received a call to go to number nineteen Iguana Street on Sunday morning. As he stepped out of the taxi, he was ambushed by a lone gunman, who fired multiple shots at him before turning his gun on Hemmans. Hemmans, who worked with the Caye Caulker Land Taxi Association, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed while earning his bread and butter.

 

Tyrone Sampson

“We serve the community. Taxi man is a target and it shouldn’t be that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So it is a risk for all taxi man. It is really a risky business.”

 

Tyrone Sampson

“Definitely it is a risky business and we noh really make a lot of money to pay. This man died in the line of duty. What else can a man do? He died trying to make money to provide for his family. But this is a risk that we go through as taxi people and the government don’t really want to address this crime situation instead of worrying about Petrocaribe fund.”

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“He was in a critical condition. He provided little information. Thereafter, communication was lost and he succumbed to his injuries yesterday.”

 

Hilberto Romero

Duane Moody

“Sir, would you say that Mister Hemmans death was really…he was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was shot, a casualty.”

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Well he took Mark Medina to that area. We know he is a taxi driver and that is what occurred at that scene yes.”

 

Reporter

“Has police encountered him any at all in the past?”

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“No we have not dealt with him for anything.”

 

Mark Medina

Duane Moody

“We understand that a phone call was made during that murder or just before that murder happened. Is the police looking at phone records to ascertain whether a call may have been made and these persons were lured to that location?”

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Yeah, we are following up on those leads and if at the end of that investigation we manage to find sufficient evidence to charge anyone; that will be done. However, at this time, we have not been able to charge anyone and we are following on those leads.”

 

But with five murders in less than two days in the city, there is unease among residents. So what is the police department doing to address the spiraling crime situation?

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“We are asking the public to assist. At the end of the day, we need to find the evidence to charge anyone. We are doing our best. We are conducting necessary interviews, we are detaining persons of interests and the investigations continue. Again, we know that we have several murders and all of them are being worked on as thoroughly as they can be investigated.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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