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Apr 8, 2011

Delille Academy in mourning over murdered student

This Sunday in Belize City, the Chinese community is expected to turn out in full force at St. John’s Cathedral for a memorial service for three of their own: a sixteen year old Chinese student and two female grocers, all killed in the uncontrollable crime wave. The murders have hit hard the Asian community and protests have been held both in the Culture Capital as well as in the Old Capital. Hui Sheng Chen died in Merida on Tuesday where he was undergoing surgery for the gunshot injuries. Students at Dalille Academy where he was enrolled are grieving the loss of their friend and classmate. News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed south today and files this report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Hui Sheng Chen

The senseless murder of sixteen year old Hui Sheng Chen while helping his parents with after-school work inside their grocery store on Ecumenical Drive on March twenty-fifth has stunned the coastal community of Dangriga.  Sam, as he was affectionately known, was the third individual of Chinese descent to fall victim to gun violence in a wave of shootings that gripped the nation over the past few days.  A first form student of Delille Academy he was as bright as they came.  His death is a massive loss to his classmates.

Voice of: Sheri Stevenson, Classmate

“It is not easy.  It is not easy to see one of our members of the class had died or even [to think about it] because sometimes we wonder if it could be one of us or even our family members and it felt real bad.”

Of the four hundred and eighty students enrolled Sam was the only Chinese student attending Delille Academy during this academic year.

Dionesia Garcia, Classmate

“In our class he blends with everyone.  He is so friendly in our class.  [He] helps us with our tutor.  If we had some math problems and we don’t understand he helps us.”

Among the many questions that are being asked is why would the robbers turn their weapon on Hui Sheng Chen after helping themselves to an undisclosed sum of money?  In reflecting on his murder Sheri Stevenson told News Five how the incident has affected her.

Voice of: Sheri Stevenson

“It affects me in many ways because in today’s society we have a lot of killings.  Killings in Belize City and even though it has struck Delille Academy, one of the only Chinese student that is in Delille Academy.”

This wooden armchair serves as a shrine to his memory, adorned with an arrangement of flowers, a glass of water and a photo of him.  A week ago the students and faculty organized a protest that would send a clear message to end crime and violence.  Oddly, the demonstration preceded another bloody weekend.

Gwendolyn Gentle

Gwendolyn Gentle, Teacher, Delille Academy

“The protest was due to the shooting of Hui Sheng Chen.  It was under the theme ‘Integration and not separation:  We will not be silenced by crime and violence’  So we’re still feeling so badly about what is going on in our community and we wanted to make sure that we are not silenced by what is going on.  If we remain quiet nothing will be done but if we speak out [then] something should be done.”

For its part the police department has since detained four individuals including a minor for charges relating to the robbery.  The alleged triggerman, nineteen year old Ernest Billary Bailey, will see his initial charge of attempted murder and use of deadly means of harm upgraded to murder.  Back in the classroom Sam’s peers paid homage to him through songs and reflections.

Dale Lucas, Teacher, Delille Academy

Dale Lucas

“Certainly the school is extremely devastated by this incident okay, extremely devastated by this incident.  As a matter of fact some of our students, our immediate students in his homeroom actually cried okay.  He has a very good friend whom I believe is so devastated that she has been absent for a couple days.”

Hui Sheng Chen will be buried on Sunday along with Yan Ying Chen and Fei Lan Wu who were both murdered last Saturday. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Twenty-six year old Jermaine Miranda, twenty-two year old Lawrence Bernardez, nineteen year old Ernest Billary Bailey as well as a minor have been charged jointly for conspiracy to commit robbery.  Bernardez, Bailey and the minor have been charged for robbery.  Meanwhile Bailey, who was initially charged for attempted murder, is expected to face a single charge for murder.

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2 Responses for “Delille Academy in mourning over murdered student”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    According to the PM,, the death penalty is still on the books, fast track it & once convicted put them to sleep within a year.

  2. haiely says:

    hell yeah they need to stop killing these asians and chinese and everybody else cause soon these people gonna turn on innocent belizeans and start poisening them and that would really be sad sad sad i dont know what my country is coming to we’re a poor country for god sake and poverty plays a big roll in these crime today it needs to stop and that peel head dean borrow needs to do something he’s just waisting it on his sons career so SAD

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