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May 22, 2012

Child, 11 year old, killed by gunfire

Daniel Matura

For one family of Central American Boulevard in Belize City, shootings that claim the lives of their loved ones, have been the regular way that their family members die. Last Wednesday, the third member of that family, twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura was gunned down as he left his yard on his way to work. Following that incident, a family member reported being threatened by rivals and according to the police an encounter with that family member and a rival resulted in shots being fired and the fourth Matura’s life being instantly smothered out.  The atrocious killing of eleven year old Daniel Matura Junior, a primary school student in standard three, signals a need for intervention in rivaling neighborhoods.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports on the Monday morning death of this child, who is a victim of his name as well as adults too consumed with taking lives rather than preserving their families.

 

Sherlene Ciego, Class Teacher

“Well he wants to be a lot of things when he get older. He wanted to be a police, a B.D.F., one spell he said he wants to catch iguana. And I told Daniel not here. Tell me lawyer, tell me doctor or something. Then he tell me he wants to be somebody like a B.D.F. or something like that.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

But those dreams were shattered when a gunman allegedly pulled a gun on another man; the intended target escaped but little eleven year old Daniel Matura was shot multiple times; once to the left side of the chest, once to the right side of the back and once to the left ring finger. He died almost instantly. His grief stricken mother, Marva Mendoza, recalls hearing the shots ring out. But she wasn’t prepared for what she saw next:

 

Marva Mendoza, Mother

“I would probably say he’s my only son because dah morning time, he says mommy I gwen dah Miss Turner go do wah lee run. Mommy I gwen hustle for you. Ih say mommy noh worry bout nothing. But yesterday I sit right here where I am right now and never know that I am the one that run into something like this because I was sitting in my couch. I tell my third daughter, Shinika, you hear any gunshot? I know dehn pikney dehn like dehn pan the street side cause they were at his father’s house. So I say Shinika let’s go and see dah who get shot. I never ever mi think dah mi my son. When I see my son lying down with his hand on his chest, his eyes opened. And then I run to him and said Daniel, Daniel, Daniel.”

 

Consumed by grief, all this mother has left are memories of her young child; he is fondly remembered as a caring little boy who loved animals. The last time the family saw him alive was when he dropped off a dog at the house. Mendoza now has to live with the pain of losing him to the senseless killing in the Belize City Streets:

 

Marva Mendoza

“Now this dog mi deh dah the house weh we used to live when my house get burn down and he gone fi di dog. And he said, ma see one of the puppies here; see how ih look and he left it right da middle of the walkway. Never know that was the last time I was going to see my son. He’s a friendly person, he woulda mi deh home dancing tip pan yo toe, he would be running his belly as our family members laughing at him. I’m feeling what the other mothers are feeling, grieving with losing their loved ones. I am grieving too, but I am not a mother weh I want to see violation happen in the city. I just want everybody come together and be as one.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Miss Marva, it is being reported that the man who shot Daniel—of course he wasn’t the intended target, it is believed—the person who shot him is somebody close to the family. Are you guys aware of that?”

 

Marva Mendoza

“No I don’t aware of that, but I noh know weh fi say. I don’t know. I nuh really know.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

In a press conference, prompted by Matura’s death, police disclosed the series of events that they believe triggered the shooting which ultimately ended the life of the minor.

 

Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr., O.C.E.D.

“Initial investigations reveal that on Monday morning, twenty-first may 2012, at eight-thirty a.m., one Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett were riding on separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard, travelling from the direction of Faber’s Road heading towards the direction of Neal Penn Road. Whilst both persons were passing in front of the Matura’s residence, one Andrew Willoughby, who was inside the Matura’s yard, came out and fired shots at both Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett, who rode away without any injuries. During this shooting incident, Daniel Matura Jr, who was walking in an opposite direction from which Brandon Taylor and Roy Bennett were travelling received the above mentioned injuries who then ran away and collapsed at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Boots Crescent.”

 

Kaylon Matura

Police say that the motive is clear for this shooting. Whilst they believe it is gang related, the pieces of the puzzle continue to unravel as the investigations go deeper. It is alleged that little Daniel Matura was a mistaken casualty of revenge for the murder of Kaylon Matura which happened on Wednesday, May sixteenth:

 

Asst. Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Yes, we believe that there is a clear, it’s clear why Andrew Willoughby did the shooting; well committed that shooting incident or did the shooting against Brandon Taylor.”

 

Patrick Jones, Love FM

“Okay, is this gang related?”

 

Asst. Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Yes, we strongly believe that it is gang related. I believe we had an incident with Kaylon Matura like two weeks ago and we have since connected this shooting incident which resulted in the tragic death of Daniel Matura Junior to that of the last shooting.”

 

Alden Dawson

Alden Dawson, Superintendent of Police

“Last week Kaylon Matura was killed and as a result of that murder, the brother-in-law, Andrew Willoughby whose common-law is the sister of Kaylon Matura and what we believe is that the person responsible for this murder is this same Brandon Taylor and Brandon Taylor passed the yard of Kaylon Matura yesterday and made some ‘kayppaz’ and Andrew Willoughby decided that he would’ve fired at him. He fired several shots; none caught Brandon Taylor but instead it caught Daniel Matura who is the cousin-in-law of Andrew Willoughby and causing the injuries so it is a matter of in-laws shooting in-laws by accident, we believe.”

 

Daniel Matura’s other family, the Muslim Community Primary School, is still trying to cope with the loss. Today a candle burns on his empty chair in the class; Sherlene Ciego remembers the boy who was full of life and promise:

 

Sherlene Ciego

Sherlene Ciego

“He was a nice person; he wasn’t an academic person, but when it comes to dramatize, he was great in dramatizing. He was nice. Participation was his number one. He was very nice.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“He is a student you would say with a lot of promise, a lot of hope?”

 

Sherlene Ciego

“Yes he was. You could say that he was somebody who was trying for himself. Well when I first heard the news, I was like in denial, I broke down, I cried because he is one of us. He reminded me of my little son. I have a son at the same age range and if I were to hear a news like that about my son, I don’t know what I would do.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The standard three classroom is very small, only a small number of students in here. how are the students coping with his death?”

 

Daniel Matura

Sherlene Ciego

“Well all of us is very close. Like what I said, we take each other like family. So everybody take it hard this morning. This morning when we had the devotion, they were like Miss we gwen dah funeral? Miss what we will do? Miss we wah donate something? Miss? You know all of them were concerned. You know some of them dropped a little tears.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

According to police, thirty one year old Andrew Willoughby, the alleged gun man has since been detained. Police say he has since given a caution statement and that they are positive he was the shooter. According to the police report issued today, Willoughby reported that on Monday morning Taylor took a chrome handgun from his left pocket, pointed it at him and shouted “I wah kill all ah unu”. Willoughby told police that he feared for his life and ran into the Matura’s yard. Police have since detained twenty-six year old Brandon Taylor, who is also the main suspect in the murder of Kaylon Matura. The family of young Daniel Matura Jr., is now planning his funeral. The family is asking the public for assistance to cover burial costs. You can call 661-9746 to help.

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21 Responses for “Child, 11 year old, killed by gunfire”

  1. John Skaan says:

    When will they put a stop to this?
    We must hold the government accountable….

  2. Rod says:

    I tell you this whole udp gov. Is useless impotent a disgrace to this country now our little kids are getting shot wake up belizeans wake up this pm and gov. Needs to go out with barrow out with udp they are useless things are getting even worse as I predicted and where is the suppose leader in Miami relaxing while now even our kids are being shot bring back the hanging penalty bring it back now no more messing around but their is no one in this udp gov. Who can lead get them out guan guan barrow you are useless.

  3. now i see says:

    So sad he was so young its sad to say but its karma. This people are born to kill or be killed and they will keep on doing so all their life and in the prosses they kill the innocent dont matter if family. People we need to start hanging this killers dont wait until it happens to one of your family members.like they have a saying in spanish. Despues de ahogado el nino. Para que tapar el pozo?

  4. Truth says:

    1 life equals a press conference. There after nothing changes nothing happens. Gone with the wind .. it is time that the pm removes himself from office since he so incompetent to even control his people.

    Its not as if he is unaware of the situation, he turns DEAF as it has no income for him to add to his pocket… Incompetent that’s him..

  5. Steel says:

    Harsher punishments need 2 be made so that killers think twice b4 ending another person’s life. This right here is just out of order..

  6. belizeanlatino says:

    ROD I honestly don’t know what the heck is your problem brother…really a child has been murdered and you take the opportunity to campaign politics?? What the heck bro? it wouldn’t make it any different if the PUP or whatever P is in power the fact is our country needs to tackle this from the root of the problem and we have to look at the bigger picture….MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE MOTHER OF THIS INNOCENT CHILD….WISH THERE WAS MORE TO SAY BUT REALLY THE WORDS WOULD NEVER MATCH THE GRIEF….

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    Tell Barrow stop negotiating with gangs and start hanging these menace to society.

  8. Leo says:

    Sad.
    This is a clear cut case for the death penalty- that should be enforced within a month of conviction. I believe that the only way this type of activity will stop is public execution. Forget about about his human rights. He obviously forgot about someone else’s rights.

  9. drose flowers says:

    THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY IS TO BLAME FOR THIS, SO PLEASE STOP POINTING FINGERS,
    BELIZEANS NEED TO GET ON OUR KNEES AND CRY OUT TO GOD FOR ALL THIS TO STOP,
    WE NEED TO PRAY THAT GOD WILL FILL OUR HEARTS WITH LOVE AND FORGIVENESS, FOR THIS IS THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH OUR PEOPLE, IMAGINE THIS POOR WAS CHILD KILLED BY A PERSON CLOSE TO THE FAMILY, JUST BECAUSE THIS PERSON WANTED REVENGE!!!
    COMMON PEOPLE, LOVE STARTS IN THE HOME, DISCIPLINE STARTS IN THE HOME.
    BESIDE SHE IS A SINGLE MOTHER OF SO MANY CHILDREN, WHERE THE HELL IS THE FATHER OF THESE CHILDREN??? WHY THIS POOR BOY HAD TO HUSTLE FOR THE MOTHER?
    SO SAD WE HAVE SO MANY DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES, SINGLE PARENTS,
    MEN NEED TO START BE REAL MEN AND STAND MY THEIR WOMAN AND CHILDREN, BUT IT IS SO COMMON IN BELIZE THAT MOST OF OUR MEN ARE SPERM DONORS, THAT ALL,

    AND I AGREE WE NEED CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BACK!!! CAN’T BELIEVE SO EARLY IN THE MORNING THIS MEN USE GUNS TO SHOOT LIKE IF THAT IS THEIR BREAKFAST.
    PEOPLE, ONLY WE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, LET US START TO ABIDE BY THE LAWS OF GOD, AND NOT THAT OF MEN, FOR THIS GROUP CALLED HUMAN RIGHTS IS A CURSE IN OUR COUNTRY.

  10. Jesus says:

    Shame on Belize. A friend recently wrote me and said Belize is is a failed state. I fully agree with him.

  11. Hopeful says:

    Belizeans need a true BLACK leader, someone that can be trusted, family man, goes to church, lives in the community,lead by example. where is HE, let him come forward..

  12. cg says:

    why was the mother comfy in her bed while her 11 year old is roaming the streets in an area clearly known for gun violence? poor kid….

  13. Rod says:

    Beliaeanlatino the root of the problem is ignoramuses like you who sees all the murders going on and still defends a pitiful pm and gov no wonder we have this total breakdown in the country their is no leader none hope you or one of your family members are not the next..

  14. Storm says:

    1. BDF is paid to defend us — we have no external war now, so let’s put their training and weapons to good use ON THE STREETS OF THE CITY.

    How can murdering an 11 year old child be justified?

    2. KILL THE KILLERS IN THE JEWEL. We MUST hang them all, no mercy, no exception.

    The same little group of animals kill so many people, the country could be a great place again if GOB will just eradicate gangsters. Drive them out of Belize, they all should be dead or fled.

  15. OriginalWoman says:

    cg where did you read or hear that this woman was “comfy in her bed, and her son roaming the streets???” It’s interesting how ppl just add on and make up their own stories. My condolences to the mom and family.

  16. ny says:

    The GOB is failing our people and this is why we have a failing state on our hand. Our people need competent individuals in government, folks who can think outside the box to solve huge problems. They ( members of the GOB) have conducted studies to identify the root cause of the social ills that are plaguing our nation, and the PM answer to the recommendations to solve the problems is to negotiate w/ the gangs. This my people is bs, we need to remove all those who are a menace to society, all those folks who are preying on the weak and vulnerable hardworking citezens, only then can our jewel regain some sort of decency and civility. And as part of these criminals punishment to repay society, is to have them work to produce food to help feed the hungry kids in our society, because kids cannot learn on an empty stomach: this in turn will help our kids from following the path of a destructive lifestyle.

  17. Jones says:

    I cannot see why we should blame the government.

    Belize City is filled with single parent families.

    Now in Belize, there is little value for discipline and morals. Now…there is no interest with education.

    What happens then?

    They turn to the streets…

    Funny that they confirm to the discipline of the streets and not the ones in the household, or school.

    Blame government? Then what? Call elections?

    And the whole thing will start up again…

    Personally, we need a corrupt-free police force, and REAL DISCIPLINE at home and at school.

    And we need to abandon this third world country mentality…

    I mean, an eleven year old killed….

  18. Seletar says:

    Terrible case of a revenge shooting going ‘way wrong. I don’t know if Willoughby was drunk, drugged, or just can’t shoot straight, but we can’t have crazy shootings like this one. Try him and hang him, in any order.

    Hopefully Taylor and Bennett will also receive justice at the hands of the law.

    Hon. Saldivar, this is your portfolio — MAKE THE STREETS SAFE, no matter what tools you have to use against the outlaws. These are known, notorious people making life in Belize a game of “Russian roulette,” and if you can’t do your job successfully, please get out of the way for someone who can.

  19. lino says:

    mother’s fault-another kid roaming the streets when he should be at home learning or being cared for.-According to her admission-they are always out there-and more then one kid-so learn from this and bring in the rest

  20. lali says:

    you see what i mean….. even the kids are not safe anymore

  21. lali says:

    blame the goverment is not a solution to crime………. both r the same what we need is a clean up in the police department leave only those who r willing to work towards the betterment of a our country

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