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Apr 27, 2007

2 friends + same girl = murder

Story PictureGunshots; the wail of an ambulance; police sirens; the screams of mourning relatives. Sadly, these are the succession of sounds that have become commonplace on the streets of Belize City. That scene played out again on Amara Avenue last night and now yet another family is in the grips of grief. And as News Five’s Jacqueline Godwin reports, the latest incident allegedly involves childhood friends at odds over the romantic affections of the same girl.

Bernadette Eguwatu, Mother of Murder Victim
“I just di grieve with my friend, my lee niece bredda dead. They shot him and I seh dah lee boy young and I am deh deh di grieve with Simona that fi she son so young and they shot him so young. They noh know that I wan be the next mother the grieve same way fi my own one now. I cannot understand it, I cannot understand it.”

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Tonight deep sorrow dominates the home of Bernadette Eguwatu. Around ten on Thursday night, her twenty year old son, Shane Donovan Leslie was gunned down. Shane had left his home on Fairweather Street to go and buy food but on the way back he stopped at his girlfriend’s house on Amara Avenue. As the couple conversed, two men approached Leslie from behind and shot him in the head and back. But why would anyone want to kill Shane Leslie? Information to News Five suggests that the motive behind the murder was jealously.

Bernadette Eguwatu
“Well as far as weh I hear and weh come to me, they killed my son over a gial. His girlfriend weh he have. I noh know my son as nobody trouble nobody or do nothing to nobody so I cannot really say you know that dah that my son do. I noh know my son as any troublesome, everybody know my son as a cool person.”

“According to weh I hear his girlfriend see dah who do it, know dah who do it because they even threaten she and say if she talk what they will do with she. I noh know if she and the young man mi had an affair before my son. I noh know because the lee boy had already hurt somebody fi the same young lady according to weh I the hear now as everything happen right.”

Equally as disturbing is the report that the main suspect was Shane’s childhood friend.

Bernadette Eguwatu
“Dah lee boy grow up with my son. They play together when they were young, they eat together, they drink together. As a matter of fact, the lee boy aunty use to mind my son, mind them so I noh see why he wah kill him over a gialfriend. If he had come to me he know he would have gotten justice. If he had told me that was the problem between he and Shane I would have solved that. He know that he would have gotten his justice. If dah the gial he wanted, he would have got the gial.”

Jacqueline Godwin
“Did Shane come to you and say if he had any problems with this young man?”

Bernadette Eguwatu
“He noh come to me. He usually, he usually, one thing with him if he see anybody after him, he would come to me and say mommy you know weh happen, you know who the fass with me or the deal with me then I would go to them and explain like weh happen with you and Shane. They wah say nothing but Shane hang out with the crowd or the hang out with his friends and I seh well mek I mek unnu know that my son noh involved in that. Hang with somebody and talk to somebody that noh means my son involved inna unnu thing, you understand me. So my son noh have no problem with nobody weh I know about. He noh tell me nothing and I noh know nothing.”

The recent murders and shootings involving young men from the old capital have put fear in the homes of many families, especially those living on the south side of Belize City.

Bernadette Eguwatu
“I di beg, I di plead now to the minister, the minister weh wah be the minister next who we noh know, to anyone one of them weh could help I di ask, I di beg unnu, please, do something to them lee boy. They do their first offence, they hold gun, they fire gun, find a juvenile centre, find something fi put them. B.D.F. need a lot of people in there, put them, train them as soldiers, do something with them, get them off of the streets. Noh only tell them put down the gun because the gun dah the hardest thing fi they put down. And I di plead to them big people, them big men weh deh out there the give them lee boy gun out there fi go do crime fi them out there, mek them stop that thing because dah we, dah we, dah only wah lee bit ah black people left, dah only wah lee bit ah we over south side left, all ah we know one another.”

In the past five months, the victims of deadly violence include Jomo Lamb, Rodney Conorquie, Densley Arnold, Jose Noe Barrow and now, Shane Donovan Leslie. The gunfire has also left a number of other youths with gunshot injuries. In January Mothers Organized for Peace held a vigil that including grieving families laying wreaths at the grave sites of their loved ones and an urgent call for peace in the streets…but the killings and shootings have continued unabated.

Bernadette Eguwatu
“It hard fi know next day morning or before you go inna yuh bed dah night, you hear that one of yours dead or somebody to you weh you know dead. It hard, it really, really hard, it hard. Life done hard fi we find bread fi give them everyday fi eat, their milk, whatsoever. When you kill them and tek them away from we, it even worse.”

Police say they have detained two persons who they strongly believe are involved in the shooting death of Shane Donovan Leslie pending charges of murder. Jacqueline Godwin for News Five.

The death of Leslie brings our unofficial count of victims of violence for 2007 to thirty-two.

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