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Jan 11, 2016

Cleon “Tush” Smith Murdered in Hattieville

Cleon “Tush” Smith

In the Belize District, an execution style murder took the life of Cleon Smith, aka Tush. It is said that the street figure moved to Hattieville some years ago to escape the life of gangs and reform himself. But on Sunday, one of two gunmen caught him off guard under a shed in the village and opened fire on Smith. The father of one died on the spot. Did his past come back to haunt him? News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The weekend’s bloodbath extended to Hattieville. The notorious Cleon Smith was executed on Sunday night while he sat under a shed on Sylvester Boulevard, the main entrance to the Windmill area of the village. Smith, a well-known underground figure from Ghost Town had been living in Hattieville, where he grew up, for some years now and had reportedly given up the gang life and turned away from crime. But just after seven p.m. on Sunday, he was the target of two gunmen.

 

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Regional Commander, Rural Eastern Division

“We had the unfortunate shooting of Clean Smith, better known as Tush, which occurred about two blocks away from the Hattieville Police Station on the main boulevard of Hattieville Village. When police responded to the location, they found Mister Smith lying with what appeared to be four gunshot wounds to the back and the scene was processed and found there were six expended shells of what appeared to be nine millimeter ammunition.”

 

Minutes before the shooting, Smith was socializing under the shed and later sat alone when two shooters crept up from behind the house. Footprints and a trail show how the gunmen gained access to the premises from an overgrown abandoned lot to the rear of the building and waited before taking aim at Smith. The blood soaked sand is where he collapsed to the ground.

 

Linval Mejia

Linval Mejia, Cousin of Murder Victim

“I hear about five or six shots. I looked at my place and I feel kinda funny so I said I was gonna hold it down and relax myself. After a while, I came outside to see what’s going on. A short while before he come to buy some ice from me. I was in my bed and I told him I feel sick and I can’t make it. So I come out back and he tell me it is okay and he went over this side; he and the next lady.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir it is believed that the shooter gained access through the back of your yard. Talk to us about that; you were cutting it down this morning.”

 

Linval Mejia

“Well after when I pitch dah back ah my yard, I track out a trail coming from through the next yard. I see the mash in the bush and I feel that right from the back dehn come because they can’t come from the side there because it is very tight over there and then neighbor live right over there. So they can’t pass through there cause too much bush.”

 

Janelle Thompson, Smith’s common-law wife with whom he shares a one and a half year old baby girl, ran to the scene to find his lifeless body on the ground. The body was retrieved from the scene and taken to the K.H.M.H. three hours later. Thompson believes that Smith was cheated out of his life.

 

Janelle Thompson

Janelle Thompson, Common-law Wife, Murder Victim

“I see ahn pan the ground di lay down with a shot dah back yah.”

 

Duane Moody

“Did he complain at any point in time of his life being threatened or anything like that?”

 

Janelle Thompson

“He noh like talk. He’s a loving person; love ih family and mi want change…look for a change, but too late.”

 

Duane Moody

“Would you say that he did and was cheated out of his life?”

 

Janelle Thompson

“Yes, they chance ahn. He mi got big plans for my baby. He mi want when ih grow up he could ker ahn dah school and everything. (Crying)”

 

Tush, as he was known to his peers, has had his run-ins with the law, says Regional Commander for the Rural Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster. He was part of the Gang Truce in 1995 and was active in promoting sports through youths with the Conscious Youth Development Program. It would appear that his past caught up with him.

 

Edward Broaster

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster

“I have been dealing with Mister Tush from the late eighties. As far as I know, he was a member of Ghost Town Crips. He went to prison for a while and when he came out of prison; it appeared to me that he had changed his life. He was running several football teams in Hattieville area proper, but apparently there was still that other side to Mister Smith, which eventually caused his demise yesterday. There are some individuals who try to change their lives when it is too late and there are others who manage to change their lives because they don’t have no blood on their hands. And it is this type of thing we try to teach young people that when you get involve in gang activity, there is no turning back. Once you step in, it is difficult for you to step out.”

 

For many, the forty-one year old was the Dur of Hattieville, the alleged supplier of marijuana to consumers in the area. Earlier that day, his life was reportedly threatened in a turf war and these factors are being investigated to determine a motive for his murder.

 

Rochelle Chan

Insp. Rochelle Chan, O.C., Hattieville Police

“In relation to the initial investigation, it reveals that there were two suspects for this heinous murder. We cannot ascertain or determine if they came from Belize City, but we know that by professional opinion that it had to have been somebody that knows the area very well. The residence of the lot where Tush was shot is an enclosed yard and has an opening at the rear, leading to a bushy abandoned lot. It would be unlikely for someone that doesn’t actually know the terrain to go in and go out as how they did.”

 

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster

“Right now we have several leads and several issues that we have to investigate as it pertains to conflicts that Mister Tush had with two different groups.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

News Five understands that four persons are being questioned in connection with Smith’s execution including two minors—one who is a fourteen year old student. 

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1 Response for “Cleon “Tush” Smith Murdered in Hattieville”

  1. Rod says:

    But unu pm and gov says crime is down he he unu. Dunce belizeans at thiazides rate we will hit 2000 murders this year so let it be said so let it be done.

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