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Oct 7, 2013

Punta Gorda man killed in Belize City

After months without a murder in the Old Capital that spell was broken on Friday night. A twenty-eight year old Punta Gorda resident who had just relocated to the City, was gunned down around ten p.m. Gary Pratt moved to the City to earn his livelihood and on the day he collected his first paycheck he was murdered on Antelope Street Extension. Police believe the gunman had the wrong man. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after ten on Friday night, twenty-eight year old Gary Mancel Pratt was killed as he socialized inside this yard on Antelope Street in Belize City. He was shot twice to the back and died minutes after he was hit.

 

Voice of: Witness

“We just hear shots; so much ah we runa dn when we look a man down. We ker di man dah hospital.”

 

Reporter

“Around what time this happened?”

 

Voice of: Witness

“About after ten or something. Ih neva mi di breathe…the man dead ina my hand. We not even see nobody; we just hear shots and we just run.”

 

Reporter

“How much shots?”

 

Voice of: Witness

“I hear about five shots yo know.”

 

Pratt, originally from Punta Gorda, would frequently come to Belize to seek employment. He was employed for less than a week with Cisco Constructions to assist with the demolition of the City Center when he met his untimely death.

 

Voice of Landlady of Deceased

“Ih come and ih say ih di look for job…ih up and down, back and forth, from Belize City to PG, but when ih come ih always come and stay. Ih tell mi ih di look for a job. Ih dah wah busy something; ih noh idle. He keep on di move until ih have something fi do. So ih come and ih gone dah Krem deh. Wah man weh ih know give ahn newspaper—ih buy it by bundles and ih give ahn fi sell. Ih mi di sell newspaper everyday; ih left form yah bright and early, from six o’clock he di go. Ih say ih di sell newspaper but ih di try find a better job—wa steady one. So ih meet a man and the man ker ahn dah civic and dehn hire ahn dah civic. Ih noh even work deh wah full week. The night when ih dead dah mi ih first payday; ih just collect ih pay.”

 

According to police, the murder is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

 

Voice of: Landlady of Deceased

“He dah noh wah gang somebody; dehn bwai dah PG man, town man.”

 

Reporter

“They are saying that it is possibly a mistaken identity because he was shot from back on.”

 

Voice of: Landlady of Deceased

“Yeah well anyway dehn mi shot he, ih mi wah be wa mistaken identity because he noh got no enemy dah Belize. And number one, he noh heng pan no neighborhood.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

One person has been detained in connection with this latest homicide.

In a reversal of roles, the once violent Belize City has become somewhat tame, while the traditionally peaceful nation’s capital has seen five murders in its surrounds in the past week. And tonight Belmopan Police are investigating what appears to be a sixth murder. On Saturday, acting on information received, officers visited an area near the garbage dump on the Hummingbird Highway just outside of Belmopan. There they found what appeared to be human bones in a hole. With those bones was an old white cloth with red and blue stripes. We’ll have more on this story on Tuesday’s newscast. 

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