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Dec 30, 2013

A murder in the city, does it involve the gangs?

 

Leon Giovanni Smith

The murder count was down during the year in Belize City but 2013 is ending violently and it is suspected that gang violence has sparked up, resulting in the latest murder in the City. The police will not confirm if the murder of Leon Giovanni Smith was gang related but word on the street is that two rival gangs may be involved in the recent spate of shootings.  Smith’s family, however, says that he was not a troublemaker and the motive for his killing is unknown. Duane Moody reports.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE: MURDER OF LEON SMITH

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after seven on Sunday night, residents say at least five shots rang out at the corner of Sibun and Ebony Streets in what is suspected to be violence between two rival gangs. Minutes later, twenty-eight year old Leon Giovanni Smith lay in the drain. Bullets hit Leon on the left chest, left upper back and left buttocks. His mother, Patricia Smith, says she was notified an hour after the shooting happened.

 

Patricia Smith, Mother of Murder Victim

“I heard that he was in the yard at the corner of Ebony and Sarstoon Streets and he was waiting for a bicycle that he had loan to one of the family members from out of the yard. And as soon as the person brought back the bicycle, he was coming out of the yard when a person on a bicycle rode up and started to shoot him.”

 

Voice of: Brenda Harmond, Shooting Victim

“He was at my house and going home; just double the lane going home when he buck up into the person and the person start open up fire on him.”

 

Reporter

“For no reason at all?”

 

Voice of: Brenda Harmond

“Well he don’t give trouble.”

 

“Bani” or “Beeno”, as he was affectionately known by family and peers, was leaving his aunt’s residence on Ebony Street when his killer rode up to him and fired several shots; he fell off his bicycle and into the drain. Leon called his aunt for help and she too was shot when the gunman fired a single shot at her front door.

 

Voice of: Brenda Harmond

“I was sitting down watching TV. Dynamite was bursting. I heard the dynamite bursting and with the dynamite yon oh know when dah dynamite, when dah gunshot. And sitting there, I heard my name begin to call. So dah get up, I di get up now fi come see who di call me and what di happen. I neva even reach mi door when I feel wah burning. And when I lift up my blouse, I see I get wah shot. So I gawn straight ina my room and after everything calm, I come out and I see my nephew in the drain.  All I see was he in the drain lying down there. Only he was in the drain and then people start to come around and I ask them to call the police cause I get so frighten.”

 

Leon died some four hours after, at eleven-ten p.m., while undergoing surgery at the K.H.M.H. But why anyone would want to kill the twenty-eight year old is still up in the year. Relatives say they are clueless because he was not a troublemaker and worked in construction.

 

Voice of: Brenda Harmond

“Giovanni is very quiet; he does not give trouble. This is one that does not give trouble; he is quiet.”

 

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith

“I will remember him mostly for doing errands for me because he was the person that always pays my bills, he go and buy my gas. If I want him to go and purchase something at the shop, he was always there to do that for me. And he was also that type of person to family and friends who knew him.”

 

Reporter

“He was your youngest son?”

 

Patricia Smith

“He was the oldest son.”

 

Reporter

“Why would anyone want to kill Giovanni?”

 

Patricia Smith

“I don’t have any idea because Giovanni was not a trouble person. I guess he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time because I understand that guys are always shooting up in that yard. I guess he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

 

Luckily for Harmond, she was grazed and received six stitches. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Four expended nine millimeter shells and one live nine millimeter round were recovered from the scene. The family is asking for assistance to bury their loved one. Anyone who would like to assist is asked to contact the family at 660-3550, 630-5316 or 623-6938. 

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1 Response for “A murder in the city, does it involve the gangs?”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s so sad what’s going on in the Jewel.Criminals are allowed to murder Citizens with impunity.

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