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Jan 31, 2017

Conch Shell Bay Rocked by Another Shooting Incident

Jaheel Goodger

Since the start of the New Year, Conch Shell Bay, a bustling community which is home to the popular Fish Market, has quickly become a hotspot in the city.  The surge in violence is said to be motivated by feuding factions in a drug war. As recent as Monday night, a twenty-one-year-old man was on West Collet Canal, heading on bike to Ebony Street, when he was fired at, but luckily survived the shooting. Two persons are in custody and a third is being sought. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Conch Shell Bay is a fairly small community divided by the canal at the Fish Market. Since the New Year, there have been repeated acts of gun-violence in the area; two persons have been murdered and others have been injured in several shootings. And on Monday night, shots rang out again in the once peaceful neighborhood and another Belize City youth was hit and had to be hospitalized. Just after eight p.m., twenty-one year old Jaheel Goodger was shot to the right leg as he rode his bicycle on West Collet Canal towards Ebony Street. According to police, Goodger reported that he saw three men standing in front of an alley when one of them opened fire on him.

 

Voice of: Witness

“When I actually look up and see the fire and the smoke, this really gone too far. Conch Shell Bay is not a violent area; it’s a money-making area; it’s a business area. We socialize in a different way. I don’t know what the year turn out to be like for 2017. The socialization turn to violence and it just doesn’t make any sense because next people life is in jeopardy and the victims are not even from around here.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now, you only saw the fire from the barrel of the gun? That’s all you saw right?”

 

Voice of: Witness

“All I saw was the fire; I didn’t see who do it or who run, anything. All I saw was the fire because where I was; it was difficult for me to see anything. And it is dark; very, very dark. All I see was the fire and the smoke from the gun and I got scared and they chase me from my own house.”

 

Duane Moody

“You didn’t even know that someone got shot.”

 

Voice of: Witness

“I thought it was out on the fish market area; I didn’t even know it was through Conch Shell Bay. Come on. It is obvious; it is very, very obvious and rare.”

 

Amid the ongoing spate of gun violence in Conch Shell Bay, Alberts area rep Tracy Panton accompanied by the police went into the neighborhood to mitigate last Wednesday. While it is not known whether this latest shooting is related, investigators believe that the escalated violence is as a result of a drug war in the community and intervention will take place.

 

Tracy Panton

Tracy Panton, Albert Area Rep [File: January 25th, 2017]

“I wish we could get into the minds of those who decide to commit the crime and we could be on top of their every timing and their every move; that’s not possible. We also have to have people to come forward in terms of sharing information with the police so that we can get down to the bottom of it. You hear a lot in the community in terms of your own information intelligence gathering but you can’t act on that unfortunately. And so the best we can do is to increase the surveillance, increase the presence and also to do whatever intervention work is necessary with the young men who are involved in this—I call it a turf war—the turf war to understand why we’ve had an escalation.”

 

The witness with whom we spoke today has been living in the area for twenty-two years. She says that the neighbor was known for its commercial purposes and never for crime and violence. She fears that unless something is done, the area is no longer safe for law-abiding citizens.

 

Voice of: Witness

“Respect dah weh we lack of right now; respect and anger management. We need some more support by work; we need some more support by clips of the police deh; we need some more support by upliftment the fish market  from stop certain things that shouldn’t be happening on the fish market that we need to put some stop to. We need to put some clips on them errors cause they are big errors; errors that we didn’t even thought would have been the error because the affiliations, the violence is right in between the community and it is a small community if have this type of reaction. It is a community that has never been in this stage of reaction. Yes maybe from the olden days, but we never mi think fi born fi see then ya obstacles ya. This dah one obstacle weh we need fi bruk weh cause this dah the obstacles weh nobody want reach ina this stage of life.”

 

Police have since detained two persons and are looking for another in connection with this latest crime. Duane Moody for News Five.

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