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May 5, 2016

Another Murder in the Old Capital

Johan Cocom

Gang warfare is intensifying in the Old Capital and bodies are piling up; there have been eight murders in five days; three of them in the city and four in the west and one in Ladyville. The latest victim was gunned down early on Wednesday night near downtown Albert Street. Johan Cocom was riding his bicycle when someone opened fire from a vehicle, unleashing a volley of bullets.  While the family says Cocom was not a trouble maker, the police believe his murder is gang related. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Voice of: Eyewitness

“When di shots dehn start to fire, everybody take cover; me myself take cover. After that, the man body left down deh and police come. Dehn arrive mussi shortly after the shot dehn; that dah one thing weh I could say about dehn. When the shot fired, dehn noh take long fi come. But dehn take long fi move the man; maybe if the man mi reach hospital, I mi wah got wah more chance of survival.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

“He laid out on the concrete pavement gasping for breath,” says an eyewitness who was just across from the spot on Prince Street where twenty-one year old Johan Cocom was shot multiple times to the chest, shoulder and legs. Around six-thirty on Wednesday night, Cocom was riding contrary to traffic and as he neared the intersection with East Canal, a gunman from inside a waiting vehicle took out a nine millimeter pistol and opened fire on the Belize City youth. Up to eight bullets made their mark on Cocom who died minutes later as he was rushed to the K.H.M.H. by police.

 

Voice of: Eyewitness

“Everybody di socialize and thing and wah car just past through—I noh know if dah because of the recent shooting weh di happen ina the city and thing—and release a barrage of shots and kill an innocent young bwai weh noh ina nothing. The man just mi di ride…the man usually ride pass and he noh really heng out or nothing, yo get the sense, and dah like weh I say, dehn just chance the man outta ih life innocently like that. If dah mi somebody weh mi ina wah gang and do things then yo just mi wah call that as somebody, you know.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“A gunman from a vehicle which was parked right at the lane fired several shots at him which subsequently resulted to his demise. The vehicle then made its way down Prince Street, according to the flow of traffic, and made a sudden turn on to Albert Street.”

 

While family and friends say that Cocom was innocently killed, police believe that this latest homicide was gang related.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“From what we are seeing and what our investigation is saying to us at this time, he may have been the intended target.”

 

Reporter

“Are you all aware of what may have been the motive in terms of were there gang elements at play? We know that that particular corner is wax house, George Street related.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Jules you know I don’t like to venture into the past character of persons who have become victims of crimes. For our own investigation we will look at it, but I don’t think it is my place to try to further tarnish the reputation of a person who has fallen victim of a crime.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir, but a motive?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“We are still looking at a motive at this time.”

 

Cocom’s murder was the second in less than twelve hours. Earlier that day, Troy Cole was shot and killed on Gibnut Street. So are the two murders linked?

 

ACP Chester Williams

“No, not from our investigations so far, no.”

 

Duane Moody

“You said that it was someone from inside a parked vehicle that opened fire on Mister Cocom. Any indication as to what type of vehicle it was? Police has any leads on that?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“We have been trying to ascertain the make of the vehicle, but we have been unable to. From what we have seen, it is a dark colored vehicle, but to establish a make and license plate number, we have not been able to do so. We are hoping that we will be furnished with surveillance video from cameras within the area, but so far it has been futile.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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