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Feb 22, 2018

12-year-old and Adult Latest Gun Victims of the City

Lloyd Valentine & David Morrison

There was a double murder on Wednesday night in the city in which the life of a twelve-year-old student was abruptly cut short on Pregnant Alley in the Mesopotamia Division. David Morrison, the Queen Street Baptist student was simply at the wrong place along with his mother and about to head home to Ladyville when a gunman opened fire. Twenty-six-year-old Lloyd Valentine was the second victim in the deadly shooting. A third person, Albert Wagner, was injured and is recovering at the K.H.M.H.  Police believe Valentine and Wagner were the intended targets in ongoing gang warfare between Taylor’s Alley and other gangs in the city. Morrison’s grieving mother today recounted the moments of the deadly shooting in which her young son was killed.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

For some, the rapture of nomination day did not wear off with the culmination of the morning and afternoon processions to the Complex Building.  In fact, that festive spirit continued well into the evening, with supporters of both major political parties celebrating in their respective constituencies.  On Cemetery Road, sometime around seven p.m., when gunfire erupted.  A group of persons, including twelve-year-old David Morrison and Linda Whylie, was standing at the mouth of Pregnant Alley.  His mother, who was at his side the entire time, said that they were waiting to board a bus to Ladyville when they came under attack.  At first, she turned away believing that the piercing sounds were firecrackers being set off.

 

Voice of: Linda Whylie, Mother of Deceased

“I come home from work and I sih my baby so I hail he and then I ask he weh time we gwein up.  So he tell me 7:15 pan di Serrano Bus.  So I seh alright then, well da almost time fu we go up.  So me and he and some ah my other friends, all ah we di socialize da di alley and we just di talk and we just di run joke, one thing to di next, to di next.  He deh eena, just at di front ah di alley and I deh beside he.  So I hyah the popping start but I neva really mi di pay it no mind.  All I do da turn my back because I feel like da dynamite seka weh di nomination and everything, I just feel like da dynamite and everything.  So I just turn my back and I cover my ears.”

 

The volley of shots continued a few seconds longer, fatally injuring the standard six student, as well as twenty-six-year-old Lloyd Valentine.  During the incident another person was also wounded.

 

Alejandro Cowo

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

“Police responded to shots being fired at Cemetery Road and as a result they made checks at the corner of Cemetery Road and Pregnant Alley, where police were informed that the shooting victims were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  As a result, upon making checks at the hospital, police observed Lloyd Valentine and David Morrison with multiple shots to the body.  They were pronounced dead on arrival and also they saw another male person, Albert Wagner, suffering from a gunshot wound to the left of his rib area.”

 

According to Linda Whylie, it wasn’t until she saw everyone scampering away from the area that she realized something was horribly wrong with what was taking place.

 

Voice of: Linda Whylie

“So when I sih everybody staat to run I get frighten and I run too, and when time di popping dye off and I walk back I just sih fu he body pan di ground and I mih done know ih mi done dead already because ih not even mi di move or nothing, nothing, nothing and I just pick up ahn affa di ground and I hold ahn eena my hand.  And then police mi respond right away when dehn come.”

 

Their response, however, was too little, too late, considering the fact that officers are often stationed at the front of the alley, virtually on a round-the-clock basis.  Lead investigator Alejandro Cowo says that the team was on patrol elsewhere in the area.

 

David Morrison

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, police were in the area and they were patrolling at the corner of Euphrates Avenue and Cemetery Road at the time of the incident and it did not take long for them to arrive on the scene, however, upon their arrival, the persons were already being placed on a mobile and were taken to the hospital.”

 

In that moment where the mother realized that her youngest child had been gunned down during the chaos, she did not notice that another individual had been shot and killed.

 

Voice of: Linda Whylie

“I noh even know two more persons mi even get shot because I turn my back and cover my ears from the popping.  I turned my back so I not even know until I sih dehn bring out di next body because the other person mi deh more to the back.  Until when I sih that da then I know that somebody else get shot too, di other two persons.  I neva mi know because I just stay right deh by my baby.  I neva mi di focus pan nothing else.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now Linda, your son was a standard six student at Queen Street Baptist.  I believe he was getting ready to sit his exams and looking forward to high school.  Talk to us a bit about your son.”

 

Lloyd Valentine

Voice of: Linda Whylie

“Well he very, very smart.  He well-known, he independent bad.  That da he.  He get enrolled eena lot a programs with school.  Wahn Restore Belize program, then dehn put ahn through different other programs weh he deal with.  He mi really, really independent, intelligent, smart, di prepare seh he wahn go da E.P. Yorke.”

 

That dream has been shattered forever.  This morning, a black bow was hung outside on the school’s fence, an outward sign that the faculty, staff and student body are grieving the murder of a promising child.  Morrison, sadly, was a victim of circumstance.  The lone gunman who emerged on bicycle presumably had his sight on Wagner and Valentine.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“At the scene police recovered several expended shells and at present are looking for two male persons that can assist in this investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is there anything to suggest that perhaps there is some kind of a rivalry brewing between the Taylor’s Alley group and any other Belize City groups?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well it is a fact that they are surrounded by several gangs within that area and we suspect that it is a gang dispute between Taylor’s Alley and another gang that’s within the immediate area there.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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