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Jan 19, 2017

Remembering 15 Year Old Murder Victim Jaheem Mahler

Jaheem Mahler

The family of Jaheem Mahler, the fifteen-year-old student gunned down in Belize City, is preparing to put him to rest. But even as preparations take place, there are more questions than answers over the brutal shooting that ended his young life earlier this week. Police today charged a twenty-eight year old Belize City man, who is well known to the law, for the brutal murder.   News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports on the senseless murder.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The grief-stricken family of fifteen-year-old Jaheem Mahler is trying desperately to come to terms with the senseless murder of their loved one.  The teenager was shot and killed in cold blood on Tuesday night, as he rode a bicycle in the area of Iguana Street Extension.  It is unclear what led to the deadly shooting.  What has been confirmed however, is that he was mortally injured after being shot as many as eight times to various parts of the body.

 

Raphael Martinez

Raphael Martinez, Police Press Officer

“Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw fifteen-year-old Jamal Mahler, a student of a Faber’s Road address in Belize City with multiple gunshot wounds to the body.  Initial investigations revealed that Mahler and a friend were on Iguana Street Extension when a lone perpetrator fired several shots at them, causing the fatal injuries to Mahler.  Police have since detained one person and a later search on the scene, on Iguana Street Extension, yielded a black nine millimeter pistol that police believe to be the weapon used in this latest shooting incident.”

 

For many who knew Mahler, including his friends on social media and his mentors at the Gateway Youth Center, he was a laid-back young man who didn’t involve himself in any criminal activity.  Jaheem’s grandmother, while he was in her care, kept a close eye on him.

 

Yolanda Montejo

Yolanda Montejo, Grandmother of Deceased

“I noh know he as a trouble person because he noh go no way.  He go but he just go to the close house from me and he is a lee bwai that, how yoh woulda seh it, he love to play music.  He’s a person that will got you laughing, you know.”

 

Described as good-natured and friendly, Jaheem, according to his mother, was scheduled to return home to their Belama address on Wednesday.  He had been spending time with his father when he met his untimely end.

 

Staiye Cayetano

Staiye Cayetano, Relative of Deceased

“It’s cruel because no one should have their life taken away from them, especially innocent people like Jaheim and that they have all the innocent people suffering for all the guilty thoughts and feelings and there are consequences that have happened.”

 

Those consequences are very real.  Another Belize City family has lost a loved one to the relentless scourge of gun violence.

 

Alejandro Cowo

Supt. Alejandro Cowo, Officer Commanding CIB

“There’s nothing much in our records to indicate or that we have documented that he is any affiliate of any gang member at this time, you know.  We are still making checks to establish a motive in regards to his shooting and [we have] not ascertained yet [that] he was the intended target or it was the other persons that were along with him.  Remember that he was along with two other male persons at the time of the shooting.”

 

At school, Jaheem’s teachers and classmates are all heartbroken at the loss of their friend and colleague.  His Life Skills instructor speaks favorably of him.

 

Abdul Nunez

Abdul Nunez, Life Skills Instructor, Gateway Youth Center

“This came to us like a shock.  He’s always a very polite young man, always does his work, you know.  A regular young man, sometimes he gets cheeky, you know, but nothing, we’ve never known him to be any problematic of a child.  He likes playing basketball, as a matter of fact we had a basketball tournament scheduled for Saturday, a three-on-three basketball tournament and yesterday we were all playing on the court and enjoying ourselves, hyping up ourselves, trash talking about the tournament that was going to happen on Saturday but then this came out of, hearing of his demise came out of nowhere.  I mean the whole school population is distraught.”

 

An investigation into the eighth murder since the beginning of the New Year remains open.  So far there haven’t been any arrests and Belize City police are seeking a person of interest who may be able to assist in cracking the case. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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