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Jul 6, 2015

A Life Cut Short, Promising Young Journalist Killed In Early Morning Assault

Kareem Clarke

All day, today there has been an outpouring of both love and sympathy for media colleague, Kareem Clarke.  The tragic news spread quickly this morning that the young and gifted journalist from the Amandala newspaper had been executed at about one this morning in an area which ironically is close to a police checkpoint and where two teenagers were recently gunned down. Clarke, from all accounts, was heading home when a gunman sprayed a volley of bullets that took his life. As the media and his family reel from the senseless and unexplainable killing, Clarke is remembered as a prolific writer whose star faded all too early. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This vacant workstation within the Amandala Newspaper’s office space is today shorn of one of its most promising, up-and-coming, young writers.  The headline on Friday’s broadsheet, its bold caption reads “The Greatest Love of All”, would be the last published article composed by the twenty-seven-year-old journalist.  Kareem Clarke, Reemo or Snook, as we fondly knew him, was cut down in the wee early hours this morning in a storm of gunshots.

 

Hilberto Romero

Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City Police

“This morning about one a.m., police visited the corner of Lakeview Street and Vernon Street where they saw the lifeless body of Kareem Clarke, twenty-seven-years-old, journalist, with gunshot injuries to the abdomen and chest area.  Thereafter he was taken to the K.H.M.H. where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”

 

In just two short years, Clarke would establish himself as a highly regarded writer, his name appearing on the bylines of numerous pieces.  Since joining the Kremandala family in July 2013, he has displayed a workmanship that is second to none in this profession.  On various occasions he reported to assignments in different capacities, foremost as a newspaper journalist and every so often as a radio announcer or cameraman.  Clarke’s mother is at a loss for words, her only son now a victim of the very gun violence he prolifically recorded.

 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke, Mother of Deceased

“We noh really know weh gaan ahn.  Up to now we noh know.  All we know that ih get shot eena ih head but we noh know really weh cause it.”

 

Neither do Belize City police.  Despite a steady stream of rumors in the wake of the misfortune, a motive is yet to be determined, much less an arrest in the homicide case.  Incidentally, Clarke met his end in the same vicinity where two other young men perished in gunfire two weeks prior.

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero

“No we don’t have a motive.  We know he came from that general area.  He went to visit someone there and then he was targeted when he was riding near to the bridge. Patrols are in that area.  There’s a checkpoint in that area and this shooting happened, the checkpoint is situated closer to the entrance of Mayflower [Street].  This happened at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Street.”

 

Clarke’s elderly mother was at home in bed when she received word of the tragedy.

 

Kareem Clarke

Julia Clarke

“Well we neva ahn call, dah just di paramedic lady cohn call we and seh dat Kareem just get shot eena ih head pan Vernon Street and dehn di look fu ker di body now, if we could come.  So I seh, I tell ahn I noh gwein.  So I mek ih sista gaan, Melanie Young, mek she gaan right.  When she gaan ih tell me ih sih ahn pan di ground with blood di gash out and ih two eye still wide open.”

 

Sunday night sometime around eight o’clock would be the last they’d see him.  His elder sibling describes Kareem much the same way we’ve come to know him, easygoing and fairly quiet.

 

Melanie Young, Sister of Deceased

“He was no troublemaker.  The only thing my brother got into trouble with was weed, was the only thing.  Ih wahn call me and sehe, “sista I deh da station.”  Melanie jump pan di gun and go, you know.  Dat da di only problem, weh di thing name, only problem my ma have wid my bredda.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now, in our small circle as reporters and media practitioners, Kareem was an up-and-coming journalist.  Personally I’ve seen him grow in terms of his writing over the past year and a half or so.  Talk to us a bit about your brother in that sense, his desire for wanting to be a reporter and how he got involved with Amandala?”

 

Melanie Young

Melanie Young

“I really don’t know how he got that passion, you know, but he loved to write from he was going [to school] at St. Joseph and at E.P. Yorke.  He was an honor student at E.P. Yorke High School and my children are following in his footsteps.”

 

Clarke was fatally shot to the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back.  Police have since recovered eight expended nine millimeter shells from the scene of the incident. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “A Life Cut Short, Promising Young Journalist Killed In Early Morning Assault”

  1. Kay says:

    Kareem was truly dedicated to his career as a reporter/journalist. I’m so sorry I never got to shake his hand and thank him face to face. His dedication to serving his community in whichever way he can has not gone unnoticed. God’s blessing to his family in their time of great loss. Rest in peace Kareem you will be greatly missed.

  2. Belizesoul says:

    STOP THE KILLING!!! What the hell is SO wrong in Belize anymore?

  3. Rod says:

    Belizesoul I’ve been telling you what’s wrong with Belize its this no good impotent incompetent pm and udp gov. Just look over 5000 deaths since they have been in power wake up belizeans a vote for udp is a vote for death.

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