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Nov 18, 2016

Community Holds Vigil for Murder Victim Tyler Savery

Hundreds of residents—youths and adults—including the grieving mothers from the Hamilton family and other concerned Belize City residents, gathered at the B.T.L. Park for a candle light vigil organized by Shakera Young, the mother of another slain child, Tyler Savery. The seven-year-old student at Saint Joseph Primary School was murdered in cold blood exactly one week ago, as he headed to Moon Clusters for a milkshake. His cousin, twenty-two-year-old Porshan Pipersburgh, who rode along with him on a bicycle was also shot multiple times and died one day later at the K.H.M.H. The double murder, as with the murders of the Hamilton three, has rocked the nation, as criminals—despite the presence of children—carry out these heinous crimes. Showing much strength since the killing of her son, Shakera Young is advocating for humanity, saying that children must no longer be murdered, as the group paraded through the streets of the city.


Shakera Young

Shakera Young, Mother of Tyler Savery

“My son was brutally taken away from me and I just feel the need that I need to stand up and say you know what, enough is enough. Violence as is, is very common but when it hits home and it hits our children, then I think we need to wake up and realize that it is not getting any better, it is getting worse. It is not okay to kill and it is definitely not okay to kill our children.”



“We see earlier that you were speaking to Ms Melissa Hamilton, a mother who recently loss two of her children. Can you tell us if there are any plans for the two of you to collaborate in the future?”


Shakera Young

“Definitely. I think that even though Ms Melissa and me are from different eras of life, I definitely see me and her working together. In fact, I see me and all mothers working together, even fathers. We all need that person to talk to us at some point and somebody who has been there has done it. We need that support system we need a support system.”


Andrea Polanco

“How do you get from all this awareness into things actually happening? Because we’ve seen hundreds of vigils, so many parades and marches across this country and really and truly it hasn’t gotten better?”


Shakera Young

“Well, I will definitely let you know that I am very a consistent person. If you have the will and you have God’s blessings, anything is possible. I think me standing here in front of all of you and not being on my knees crying should say a lot that we have and we serve an amazing God. I will not let my son’s life go just like that. I will not let anybody’s child life go like that. In regards on what I plan on doing, I am very green to this. This is the last thing I planned on doing or thought I would see myself doing last Friday. But with the support I have been getting and I think we have very resourceful people in this country; if they use the resources in the right way, I think we can see a positive movement.  Me and Grandpa talked and we agreed, well he agreed that he wants to do an annual bike ride for Tyler because every year he would get a bike, a bigger one of course, to suit his size So, we have agreed that we will definitely do that to keep him in mind. What I plan to do though, I plan to work with children.. Whether we want to believe it or not, our children turn monsters before our eyes because we neglect them. We neglect our children. We don’t pay attention to them. We leave them to the mercy of this cruel world. I believe that if we learn to work with our children, we would see progress. I used to love my baby and still love my baby. I used to show him a lot of love and will continue showing him love. I still carry him with me everywhere but he is with his grandfather right now. Not to sound corny about it, but that is what comforts me. Everybody has something different that comforts them. My plan is to work with children and my plan is to be a support system for mothers and fathers, people who are not as vocal as I am and people who are not as strong as I am. I plan to try to spread and plant that little sea of love in everybody’s heart so that they can find God somewhere along the way. And we could get back to the God-fearing community that we once were.”


Andrea Polanco

“Shakera, you speak of that strength, and I think thousands of people across the country are in disbelief at your strength, your composure and even your eloquence and grace throughout something very tragic as this. Where do you get that strength from?”


Shakera Young

“I pray; that is where I get my strength from. I am a child of God and I am proud to say it.”


Andrea Polanco

“Looking at this murder of a seven year old boy, what message do you hope, as a youth advocate, that young people will take from this? It is a tragedy for the family, but what message do you think this death should send to the rest of the country?”


Anne Palacio

Anne Palacio, Youth Advocate

“I believe it gives us a wakeup call. We have had over a hundred murders for this year and the year isn’t finished yet. Most of these murders have been done by either young people or the young people are the ones that are killed. As I said, and I strongly believe and will never stop believing it, our values and morals start from home and we need to start to go back to the village raising the child. There are many people who are having children but because of circumstances they are not there. But we need to look in the mirror, we need to reflect and we need to understand that this problem with crime rate in our country is not just Jayear Flores in jail problem; it is all of our problems. Unfortunately, people want to bury themselves in the sand and try to say to themselves it doesn’t happen to me. But it affects all of us. All of us have Tylers in our homes. We have Tylers in our neighborhoods. We have Tylers in our communities. We have Tylers in our educational system. We need to start focusing on the priorities and stop focusing on the blaming issue.”


Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton, Mother of Ian Sambula/Empress Hamilton

“I the march fi my son Ian Sambula and my daughter Empress Hamilton, and also my nephew Aaron Gaboural. I the march because I want justice. I won’t stop until I get justice because these were three innocent kids; one was four, one turn nine in Galveston and one was eleven. I need to tell all the Belizeans just to come out and march for justice because these were innocent children. We will not leave this so. We have to fight for the rights of the children and rights of others in the future.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you think you will get that justice that you are looking for?”


Caroline Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton

“Miss, I know I wah get that justice. Like I told him on the news, he can run from man; he cannot run from God.”


Caroline Hamilton, Mother of Aaron Gabourel

“All I want to say to that killer that killed my baby and take him away from me, I have already told him to give yourself to Christ, because the commandment say thou shall not kill. You never give life, so neva have no right fi take life. I beg you to give yourself up because you have done wrong.”

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