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Jul 4, 2016

Is Jealousy a Motive in the Weekend Murder of Belize City Resident?

Giovanni ‘Blege’ Gentle

Another Belize City youth has fallen victim to the relentless spate of gun violence in the Old Capital.  Tonight, police are saying that the weekend murder of Giovanni ‘Blege’ Gentle may have been the result of jealousy.  The vendor, who was well-known for selling coconut water across the city, was gunned down while leaving a lodge hall in the early hours of Saturday morning.  The family alleges that their loved one was not involved in gang activity and that he may have simply been lured to that location by a former girlfriend.  Police, on the other hand, are tightlipped about their investigation into the latest homicide.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Thirty-one-year-old Giovanni Gentle, alias Blege, was shot and killed in the vicinity of the Loyal Endeavour Lodge on Regent Street West in the early hours of Saturday.  He was the victim of a predawn attack during which multiple rounds were fired at him from a close distance.  Gentle had only just left the popular establishment and was riding a bicycle near the intersection with Thurton Lane when a lone assailant pounced on him.  Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is the Officer Commanding Eastern Division South.

 

ACP Chester Williams, O.C., Eastern Division South

“As information was received of shots being fired in that area, upon arrival police observed one Giovanni Gentle who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  He was taken to the K.H.M.H. where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  Our investigation into that matter so far, has revealed that it might have been an act of jealousy on the  of an individual.”

 

Chester Williams

That person remains unnamed.  Gentle’s family, on the other hand, believes that he was targeted for stalking his estranged girlfriend.  While they chose not to go on record with their suspicion, his sibling spoke with the media informally.  She maintains that her brother wasn’t his normal self ever since being released from prison in 2012.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“We currently have two persons in custody that we are interviewing as our investigation into that latest homicide continues. What we know and what we have in writing are two different things and we already know what the dilemma usually is where witnesses are concerned, that people are reluctant to give statements because they fear for their lives.  We will just wait and see how, if any at all we can work around those challenges that we have.”

 

According to Blege’s sister, text messages threatening grave harm, particularly of him being shot, had been sent to the family a few days prior to the incident.  Those messages, she says, have been forwarded to investigators to assist with the case.

 

Reporter

“Sir, the incident happened near the lodge and I believe there was an event that same night there.  Could you tell us if [he is mentioned] as an attendee at that event?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“From our investigation, yes he might have been there.”

 

Reporter

“Do you think the incident stemmed from something that might have happened there?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Yes. Yes it did.”

 

When asked for particular information regarding the incident, ACP Williams was quite guarded.  Divulging specific details, he contends, only makes perpetrators of violent crimes appear to be superior.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Those are matters for the investigator and for the court.  They are not to be put out there to glorify no killer.  When the killer listens to the news and he hears, “Oh, I put so much eena di man!” and he feels big amongst his peers and I’m not going to do that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“That’s a matter of interpretation sir.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Well that’s how I see it.”

 

While that tidbit has been withheld, the police department, armed with information provided by the family on previous happenings involving Gentle, should be able to make an arrest sooner than later. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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