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Jul 6, 2018

Akeem Vargas Gunned Down in Belize City

Akeem Vargas

Twenty-five-year-old Akeem Vargas was shot multiple times early on Thursday night as he headed to his Wagner Lane’s house. He is the first murder victim in the city in seven days in an area that has been relatively quiet for years.  A gunman emerged near Simon’s Alley and opened fire; two bullets hit the young man on the neck and ear. His mother-in-law rushed to the scene, but he succumbed instantly.  As far as it is known, Vargas had resisted gang activity since moving to the neighbourhood, but someone he knew, pulled the trigger. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Around seven-thirty on Thursday night, shots rang out in an area that has been considered dormant with respect to gang activity. An alley off Wagner’s Lane in the heart of downtown Belize City was the scene of the latest homicide in the Old Capital, since the start of July. As the echoes of what residents say were some twelve blasts subsided into the night, twenty-five-year-old Akeem Tiron Vargas laid mortally wounded at the entrance to the alleyway. He died on the spot in the arms of his loved one.

 

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez, Mother-in-law of Murder Victim

“I lean over and I say please talk to me, say something to me. Please say something, please Tiron; Tiron please say something. When I notice blood di gush from ih head. And ih say [ugh] and that was it. He died right there after he said [ugh] he died.”

 

According to police, the construction worker was walking on Wagner’s Lane when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire on him; two bullets made their mark on the neck and behind the ear. Lorna Sanchez, his mother-in-law, says she spoke with him just minutes before he was targeted.

 

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez

“I got off the bus by medical, I walked through Fern Lane I cross Albert Street into Simon’s Alley. I stop at the last house coming in and I buy some cigarettes. My son came in, I said what you di do? You di tailgate me? You mussi hungry? And he said no, I come buy too and I said okay then. We walked out of the yard together and I noticed that he going in the direction of Albert Street and I di come for home so I say weh you gwen. And he say he gwen by Miss Jen and I say okay, if yo other bredda deh deh, tell him come home.  As I get out of the alley, I see Akeem di come from Berkeley Street side, but more to the house cause he deh closer to the alley than me. So I walk up to the alley and I said to ahn, “Bwai weh you di do out yah? Weh yo do fi today?” And he say, “Oh, I gone register Olds.”  We start to hear gunshots and I holla, “Adran” cause I know he walk through the alley when I walk out. So I noh even zip up my pants, I just hold up my pants, I have pain ina my foot, I walk and limp and I run. I dah di first one by ih body.”

 

By several accounts, Vargas was not involved in any gang and refused to get caught up with any gang. While police say that an investigation continues into the motive for the killing, Sanchez says he was killed by someone he knew and that it is a case of “if yo no deh with mi, yo deh against mi.”

 

Akeem Vargas

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez

“They are saying that he is affiliated; he wasn’t affiliated. When he came here before knowing us, he might have came to be affiliated, but then he came out of it.”

 

Duane Moody

“Affiliated with a gang?”

 

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez

“…with them ‘round here; Jump Street. But he pulled out of it and from then, the hate start.  When it comes to gang, they want to control. I say jump, you jump and he wasn’t that. And because he turn from that type of silliness, they start to hate him.”

 

Duane Moody

“So killed by his own people from around here?”

 

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez

“…that brought him from Griga.”

 

Duane Moody

“How long has he been living this side?”

 

Voice of: Lorna Sanchez

“Right here? Almost three years living with us. If yon oh wah deh with me, then yo dah wah problem to me. That dah how the gangs dehn idolize themselves; if on oh deh with me yo deh against me. But not being with you, noh means I deh against you. Not being with you means I noh business bout you; I business about me.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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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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