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Mar 6, 2018

4 year old Treshawn Goff is silenced, and nobody knows why

Treshawn Goff

A young boy, a student of the Port Loyola Pre-school, did not live to see his fifth birthday. Before eight o’clock on Monday night he became the latest victim of the relentless gun violence in the City in which mothers have been left to grapple with the pain of innocent lives lost.  Young Treshawn Goff died from a single bullet that caught him on the head. The anger felt by the nation on the death of baby Alyssa Nunez had not yet worn off by the time another child would fall to the madness on the streets. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.  


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

When does it end and what does it take for the unrelenting spate of crimes involving children, as victims of gun violence, to be addressed?  It is a poignant question being asked by family and friends of the most recent casualty, four-year-old Treshawn Goff.  The infant was shot and killed on Monday night, as he stood in front of his home on Nurse Findley Crescent.  The attack is the latest in a string of shooting incidents that have erupted in Belize City over the past two weeks.


Latifah Sutherland

Latifah Sutherland, Mother of Deceased

“My baby mi deh cross ah my father-in-law di eat, ih seh, “Ma ah gwein cross di street da mi grandpa go eat.”  So I tell ahn, “Baby cohn bathe.”  Ih seh ah gwein cross go eat.  Ah tell ahn go head then, then yo come back.  But when ih done eat now, my father-in-law deh outside di fix ih vehicle.  All ah dehn di outside di play eena di yard, so he seh he gwein cross.  When di shooting start he duck down behind di vehicle and when he sih everybody run he decide fi get up and dat da when one ah di bullet just ricochet affa di car and hit ahn.”


It is believed that the single round that struck young Treshawn in the right side of the head, rebounded off the engine cover of this vehicle which remains parked inside the family yard.  The indentation, as well as the spatter of blood, points to where he got injured.  Amid the ensuing chaos, during which his uncle, twenty-four-year-old Ian Abraham, was also shot, first responders overlooked a second victim.  The elder parent whom the children had followed out onto the street side moments earlier, was oblivious that his grandson had been mortally wounded.


Giovannie Brackett

Giovannie Brackett, Uncle of Deceased

“Everything happened so quickly, according to the grandfather, nobody even knew or expected that little Treshawn was injured ‘til somebody saw him on the ground with his hand behind his head.”


Something went terribly wrong on Monday night, suffice to say that Treshawn was never the intended target of the deadly spray of gunfire.  The men were attending to a vehicle when they were ambushed in a drive-by attack.  Ironically, Latifah Sutherland was preparing invitations for his birthday party when the volley of shots burst forth.


Latifah Sutherland

“I mi deh eenside di write out my party list and di print out stuff fi his party and my boyfriend literally he just get up outta di chair, he seh, “Well B, ah gwein cross ah di street go get something from mi ma,” and my daughter seh, “Daddy, I wahn follow.”  So dehn gaan.  Noh wahn good five minutes afta, I hyah like five gunshots first, so I run from behind di table and I shub open di door.  When I shub open di door, I sih di car di pass same time, no lights, no nothing, ih noh had on no lights.  Da just wahn dark blue car just fly past.  When I reach outside I seh da only my brother-in-law get shot because I sih everybody, like di commotion di run eena di yard, somebody actually get shot fi real, real, not knowing that dehn mi deh pan di street.  So when I ask my father-in-law, when I di get di undastanding that we di move off with my brother-in-law, not knowing my baby deh pan di corner, eena di corner weh pah he stooped down di look fi run back eena di yard.”


The Belize Police Department, notwithstanding all efforts, including the implementation of a new crime fighting strategy, is hamstrung in stemming the issue of gun violence in Belize City.  In this latest case, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster tells the media that progress is being made in hopes of an arrest.


ACP Edward Broaster

ACP Edward Broaster, Operations Commander, BPD

“We’re trying our best to deal with the situation.  We have been making inroads from last night in the investigation and I believe by later on today or tomorrow we’ll be having significant evidence or information that will see possibly arrest.”


Four-year-old Treshawn was a student attending Port Loyola Community Preschool.  He was one of two children to Latifah Sutherland.


Latifah Sutherland

“He mi just so friendly wid everybody, everywhere he go, everybody just like fi he spirit.  He always happy, always di smile.  He and his sista da like two-five, yoh cyant get between dehn two.  Mek dehn two fight but you noh knock none ah dehn because di sista di retaliate.  I just noh know how fu feel right now, how fi mourn, if I should cry.  This da just wahn new experience fi me.  I sih every time people go pan di news and seh, well yoh know, something happen and I know dis hurt but firsthand experience even worse.”

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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