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Feb 12, 2018

Lured to His Death on Canal Side: the Murder of Tyrone Gibson

Tyrone Gibson

There had not been a murder in the city since January twenty-seventh.  During that time, police put more boots on the ground to curb gun violence and restore some peace on the streets, following the 2017 bumper murder rate. But early on Friday night, the life of Norman Tyrone Gibson, aka Ty Ty, who had just turned twenty years, was snuffed out as he stood in the area of West Collet Canal.  The young man was apparently waiting for a female when he was executed by a gunman who shot him as many as seven times. But was he lured to his death or was he in enemy territory? News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A sudden spray of bullets on Friday night in the vicinity of the Michael Finnegan Market, brought to an abrupt end the life of twenty-year-old Norman Tyrone Gibson.  Ty Ty, as he was otherwise known, was reportedly waiting for a female acquaintance at the nearby bus terminal on West Collet Canal when he was caught flatfooted.  He never stood a chance against an attacker who dumped as many as seven rounds into his body.

 

Dianne Martinez

Dianne Martinez, Mother of Deceased

“Someone just come close range and empty it, empty it on my son seven times, you understand.  My son from when he born, come outta hospital, ih never went back until he dead, okay.  Fi he birthday just gone the fourth of this month right here and I was seeing some changes.  He wake up very grown up like that, and I was like, you know, looking at my son and I tell him, “Mein, I sih wah different image with you.  I sih you more grown up, you understand.  So he woulda like, “Yes ma, I feel different.”

 

That recent feeling of maturity, however, was fleeting.  Whatever he may have stood for as a young man or had experienced in his short life caught up with him in a most brutal confrontation.

 

Alejandro Cowo

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

“Sometime after eight in the night, police responded to a shooting incident at the West Collet Canal, near the Finnegan Market.  As a result, upon arrival at the corner of West Collet Canal and Hicatee Street, police observed the motionless body of a male person who was identified as that of Norman Tyrone Gibson, a twenty-year-old Belizean of number 6321 Berry Street.”

 

Gibson was indeed a long way from home or his usual hangout spot at the purified water depot on Mahogany Street that evening.  In fact, it is believed that he may have ventured into hostile territory in pursuit of a love interest.  His gang affiliation was clear, despite the grief-stricken mother attempting to downplay his involvement as simply an aspiring musician posing with guns on social media.

 

Dianne Martinez

“He was into music, you know, rap and et cetera, like that.  And you know, you have to show an impression that okay, either way you try to be wah hard person or wah low person and you know when ih come to rap you have to try come up and bring something hard weh could like more or less give yo wahn label and seh, “You know what, this dude is hard.”  I mean, when ih come to da part deh, my guarantee is that, you know, yes ih hold wah gun, yes ih have ih profile, you know and he was very outspoken to any man out there weh woulda try step and try send a message in da way that dehn noh like what he post, yoh understand, but it got to do [with] that if you notice, it was [as an] artist.”

 

So was his demise simply a case of life imitating art or was it the result of gang rivalry?

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“The initial information that we had received is that he was there waiting for someone.  He was communicating with someone via phone and he was to meet somebody at that corner, however, whilst waiting for that person, a male person came from the direction of Hicatee Street and fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries to him.”

 

Like police, Dianne Martinez believes that her son was lured to that area by the person he was communicating with via cell phone.

 

Dianne Martinez

“It was surprising that he ended up way there in the area that he ended up.  Why?  Because then, you know, everybody can see right now that dehn guys are feeding themselves offa turf, you know, and I cannot tell you if he was a gang member because then I never sih that in him.  You know, yes he had his tattoos going on like that you know, claiming the territory that he lived in because he mek there and ih born there and ih grow there.  But what is frustrating to me and my whole family is the way how whosoever gunned down my son, I feel like he never deserved it because then he never went out there and killed no one.”

 

A desperate plea is being made to whomever the young woman is that Tyrone was texting on Friday night to come forward with information that may assist in solving his murder.

 

Tyrone Gibson

Dianne Martinez

“Miss Lady, please come forward and contact me.  I’ma send my phone number in the air to you right away, you could call me.  Feel free to come see me, make a date with me and et cetera, and I promise you that I noh into no violence, I noh into no threats, you know what I mean, because it’s not paying me.  So please contact me at 637-5288.  Please, as soon as possible, and I want you to know that my son died, to me, to want to see you, because the understanding was that he was begging you please come back, baby please come back, and see now I am here alone without him.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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