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Jul 11, 2016

Misunderstanding Leads to Murder in Roaring Creek

Maleek Norris

The community of Roaring Creek is grieving in the wake of an apparently senseless murder on Sunday. One teenager, Maleek Norris, is dead while another, Ashton Puerto, awaits arraignment at the Belmopan Police Station on the charge of murder. Street sources say it was an altercation over ten dollars and a bicycle which led to this unbelievable tragedy. News Five’s Mike Rudon was in Roaring Creek this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Maleek Norris died at around three Sunday afternoon as he strolled down a Roaring Creek street heading to a friend’s home. He was shot once as he passed this house, by another youth he knew – a youth with whom he’d allegedly had an altercation recently. Ashton Puerto had gone to visit his aunt to tell her about the misunderstanding. She counseled him to let it go, and left him sitting in this sofa under the house. As fate would have it, a large snake was at the front of the yard and a frightened neighbor called to Puerto for help. That’s when he came to the front of the yard and saw Norris passing.

 

Kendra Pech

Kendra Pech, Aunt of Accused

“When Maleek sih Ashton and Maleek haul out ih knife and Ashton mussy get coward and frighten think dat Maleek wah come atta ah and Ashton run unda my house battam, pick up wah piece ah pipe like this, handmade outta dis. He tek dih bullet outta fu he pocket and he knock dih gun. From way deh soh he knock dih gun. When ih knock dih gun dih ting shot dih lee bwoy and dih lee bwoy drop pon dih ground deh.  Ih mih deh pon dih ground deh bawl fu ih life, Miss Kendra ih wah shot mih again soh I run through dih back door and I tell Ashton please noh do it again, and dah soh he hallah Aunty and ih buss through dih back deh soh.”

 

Norris was hit by pellets to the abdomen and forearm. Neighbors rushed to help him, but by the time he reached the hospital he was gone.

 

Kendra Pech

“Before ih dead ih seh I wah dead and Miss Catherine hold ah and tell ah no papa wih wah reach in time, but ih neva mek it. Ih neva mek it. Ih neva mek it.”

 

Voice of: Melissa Tamai, Aunt of Deceased

“We just got a phone call that he got shot. They told us he got shot right down the lane from where he lives. By the time we tried to get down the lane we got another phone call that they already rushed him to the hospital, so we just sped off to the hospital.”

 

The preliminary investigation by the police supports reports that the two youths were involved in a prior altercation.

 

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Formation

“It would seem it has to do with a retaliation. It seems maybe a week or just over a week ago the deceased might have been involved in a stabbing incident with the accused. It was never reported to us here at the Belmopan Police Station and we are saddened by that. If we knew about it we could have taken action and might have stopped this murder.”

 

Howell Gillett

Ashton Puerto’s freedom was short-lived and he was taken into custody Sunday night. Gillett says that the youth is cooperating with them in the investigation.

 

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett

“We immediately launched an investigation and I am very pleased to report that we have been able to capture the suspect and now have the weapon we believe was used in that horrible incident. I want to offer my sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased and we will work with that family to help them bring closure. We are almost nearing the point when I will direct my officers to go ahead and lay charges against the suspect we have in our custody.”

 

For the police, the case seems clear-cut, but for the families of the two youth and for the community the tragic situation is anything but. Their grief and frustration are overwhelming.

 

Melissa Tamai

“Maleek was like another son to me, the way I loved Maleek. The news really hit me hard. It’s sad. Maleek went just like that. Maleek loved everyone. I have a grand-daughter that Maleek loved. When we passed he hailed the baby and the baby yelled at him. He attempted to chase her and she was running. That was the last we saw Maleek, with the smile. Maleek always had a smile on his face, always happy.”

 

Kendra Pech

“Ih sad mein. Dis Roaring Creek need help. Dis Roaring Creek have wah lotta children weh deh out yah deh stray, weh noh deh inna school – wah lotta lee young gial weh noh deh inna school, wah lotta lee young bwoy weh noh deh inna school. This place yah need help. Yu could got wah lotta lee thing weh coulda happen fu deyah children mein. Dat dah all I deh beg dih government or whoever responsible fu try help dih lee youth dem cause all they deh tink bout dah lone negativity – nothing positive noh deh out yah fu deh. And dah help dah weh they need. Dat dah all I deh beg unnu fa mein. Help they please.”

 

Mike Rudon for News Five.

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