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Mar 13, 2018

Mother Gunned Down at Home; Children also Injured

Bernadine Lauriano

In further violence against children, a young girl and her brother, who lives with disabilities, were both victims of gunfire on Friday night; their mother, however, did not survive and succumbed to multiple injuries.  Fifty-two-year-old Bernadine Lauriano, a sanitation worker in the city, was senselessly shot and killed at the start of the extended weekend. Her young daughter Bernadine, nine-years-old, was also injured and so was Denzel, Lauriano’s special needs son.  Lauriano was at home on Aloe Vera Street with her family when a gunman jumped the back fence, walked up to the house, and unleashed a barrage of bullets indiscriminately. Lauriano was fatally wounded in front of her children and died as she underwent treatment. It appears that she was not the intended target, but that another son was marked for an old dispute in the neighborhood. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The everyday struggle for a woman of very humble means to try and provide for her family the best way she knows how, was generously rewarded on July thirtieth, 2014.  That afternoon, Bernadine Lauriano received the keys to a new home gifted to her through Hand in Hand Ministries.  The overwhelming effect of that donation, felt by Lauriano’s children, her siblings and others in attendance, was perhaps the best part of the ceremony.  Everyone was happy.  Today, that cheerfulness is gone, miserably replaced by grief.  It was inside this very home on Friday night that she was attacked and killed by a gun-toting assailant, as she sat on a chair in the living room.

 

Joe Lauriano

Joe Lauriano, Brother of Deceased

“I was picking in my clothes and then looked to go where I stay and say goodnight and minutes after, Boledo play.  Di next couple minutes da baow, baow, baow, gunshot.  Then bawling.  Then everybody run pan di street but I seh my sista di bawl, and ih daughter.  So I cohn from weh I deh and run een deh but she eena di chair, done get shot di bawl fi ih life, big bullet eena ih chest, baby di bawl.  Dehn turn up di whole night mein.”

 

The fifty-two-year-old woman head of the family had been mortally wounded in an attack that can only be described as stupid.  Not far away, her nine-year-old daughter who also bears that namesake lay seriously injured.

 

Alejandro Cowo

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

“She was observed suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, to the abdomen and other parts of the body.  Likewise, there was another child with the same name, Bernadine Lauriano, nine-years-old with a gunshot wound to the right hand.  What happened is that police received information and as a result proceeded to 6831 Aloe Vera Street where they made checks inside of the house and observed several extended shells on the scene.  What we understand is that Ms. Bernadine and her daughter and another male person were sitting on the couch when a male person just approached the front house by the door area and fired several shots at their direction, causing the abovementioned injuries.”

 

According to Lauriano’s eldest sibling, the intended target of the shooting may have been another of her sons who has been involved in a standing feud with others in the neighborhood.  The gunman spared no mercy on the occupants of the wooden structure.

 

Joe Lauriano

“All because ah just kids and dehn stupidness, playing wahn kinda top shotta game., I noh know weh dehn call it, and hurt people.  Dehn think da movie and dehn do it fu real, cold.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“My understanding is that they came in search of one of Bernadine’s sons.”

 

Joe Lauriano

“Yes.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What happened at that point, did they not find him?  What happened?”

 

Joe Lauriano

“What happened is that they come and he was not in the house so he decided that well, I can’t get you, your mom is here, stop run from me; and dehn tek it outta di lady.”

 

Callously and senselessly.  Twenty-one-year-old Denzel Lauriano is living with special needs.  He was born mute.  During the barrage of gunfire he was grazed on the right thigh.  His family wouldn’t realize that he too had been injured until several hours later.

 

Joe Lauriano

“The morning when I, did neva sleep, because of that, when I watch pan ah when ih come from ih pa house, I call ahn and I seh cohn ya Denzel and ih cohn.  When I sih wahn lee red thing ya soh, whole a ya mess up.  When I lift up ih pants, he get wahn gunshot eena ih leg, but he noh bawl, he noh cry cause he disabled.  He tek di pain.”

 

In the wake of the deadly shooting, several persons had been taken into custody but have since been released.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Police detained three persons in regards to this investigation and were questioned and they had to be released because of no other information in regard to the investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“The family of Bernadine Lauriano contends that they know who the assailant or assailants are, simply because at the time of the shooting the name of the attacker was screamed out.  Does that provide you any lead in terms of your investigation?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we know that there is an ongoing dispute between the family of the deceased and the suspect and this goes way back from 2013 and it’s a matter that’s always surfacing and that unfortunately escalated to this level with Ms. Bernadine losing her life.”

 

The incident has prompted Joe Lauriano to send a stern message to all mothers.

 

Joe Lauriano

“So fu out deh, all mothers have to watch because ih noh tek yo long fi do something and come right home.  Then yo wonda how mi son do this and I know ih mi deh home, because ih neva tek ahn long fi gaan do it; jump eena wahn car, jump pan wahn bike, bap, bap, bap, done come back, done do weh ih di do and done deh home.  Done got di house hot and nobody know.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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