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Jan 2, 2018

First Murder for 2018; Leon Garcia Stabbed to Death

Leon Garcia

Within hours of the start of the New Year, a Belize City man was murdered. At about three-thirty on the morning of January first, Leon Garcia was savagely stabbed by members of at least three gangs.  He was along with Raheem Reed and others walking on Barrack Road when they came under attack by at least thirty gang members. The trio attempted to flee but did not get far and Garcia became the first casualty of violence for 2018. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Three hours into the New Year, a north side Belize City resident Leon Garcia was murdered on Barrack Road, several blocks from where he lived on New Road. News Five has learnt that as Garcia, Raheem Reid and another person were heading home, they were reportedly accosted by as many as thirty men from three different gangs. The trio unsuccessfully attempted to reach the nearby police checkpoint at the intersection near the clock tower.  Garcia tried to flee from his attackers in a friend’s car, but couldn’t and within seconds, the group surrounded him. As his friends returned to assist, Reid was stabbed during a brawl to save his friend, but by then, Garcia was mortally wounded, stabbed multiple times to the chest and abdomen.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Sometime after 3:50 in the morning, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they observed Leon Garcia suffering from several apparent stab wounds to the stomach and to the chest area. Initial investigation reveals that earlier that morning, Leon Garcia was in the company of other friends walking from Barrack Road towards Victoria Street when they were attacked by a group of male persons. A fought ensued between them where he received the alleged stab wounds to his body.”

 

Police currently have three persons in detention pending further investigation into this latest homicide. But was Garcia marked for murder? While his mother says that she found out about his killing minutes later, Judith Bernard says that several attempts had been made on his life, including one by his killer.

 

Voice of: Judith Bernard, Mother of Murder Victim

“I wasn’t there but I know he was stabbed on Barrack Road near to the police check point. I think he was coming home from somewhere, I don’t know. As children, they don’t tell you what they are doing or what they will do. He didn’t say anything. I know that Leon had his past. I try to talk to him as any mother would do, but it is just that his past caught up on him.”

 

While the family waited for a post mortem to be conducted on Garcia’s body, his mother asked for justice, despite her son foretelling that this day would come.

 

Voice of: Judith Bernard

“Very loving; very loving son. Leon was loving. But he always tell me, “Mom if I should die today or tomorrow, don’t cry yo know. You noh should cry; just be strong.” And that’s what I am doing because life is a cycle. Life is a cycle.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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