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Feb 24, 2006

13-year-old boy wounded in city shooting

Story PictureGunshots rang out on the Southside of Belize City last night and when it was over, two more young men lay wounded. But most troubling is that one of the victims is an innocent thirteen year old boy.

Barbara Foster, Mother of Shooting Victim
?Like he limp ovah like that, you know, and then when I look at him I see the blood gashing outta his stomach, just one pool a blood right deh soh. So, I run outside, I come inside, run outside, can?t come inside because I see di pool a blood, so I run outside back … crazy timing.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Thirteen year old Sherwin Meighan remains heavily sedated in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Around ten last night the teenaged boy received multiple gunshot wounds all over his body after someone opened fire near his family?s home on Haulze Street in the St. Martin De Porres Area.

Barbara Foster
?I have no idea, no idea. I have no idea. First I thought it was like shootout with one another, but then … some crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.?

Barbara Foster says that she has no idea why anyone would want to harm the family and believes tonight that they were not the intended target. Foster says she and her son were inside their bedroom watching television when they first heard the gunshots.

Barbara Foster
?Cause it started on Lavender Street, then it came all the way around here. And when he heard it, he said, ?Mom,? he said ?That dah no pop shot.? So he seh, ?Mom mek I get dah my bed?. So when he came out of the room, I see him limp there, that time the gunman done come on this street here. I noh know, it just happen so fast.?

Bullets tore through the front screen door, a screen window, the living, and bedroom walls. Foster say as she tried to cover herself and her grandson, that?s when she heard her son cry out.

Barbara Foster
?No, he didn?t cry out, he only say, ?Ma, ma.? He say, ?Mi belly,? you know. And I see him start to limp ovah, limp like that, but then I say he was playing, you know, because how the gunshot wah reach way in yah.?

But it was no joke. Young Meighan was struck in the left side of his chest and arms.

Today the family and neighbours are left in shock over the incident that almost wiped out an entire family.

Barbara Foster
?Doctor say the bullet did something to his intestine, you know, and they had to sew up and thing. They wah really know if ih outta clear, outta danger by tomorrow or whatsoever, but today dah just sleep, sleep.?

G. Michael Reid, Police Press officer
?It would seem like they were shooting at that house, whether they were shooting at the young men is a different story. But we know that there were most likely shooting at that house.?

Police reports are that the shots came from a grey car that had pulled up to the residence. At the time of the shooting, one of Meighan?s friends was sitting on the front porch, but fell trying to get out of harm?s way and broke his arm.

G. Michael Reid
?Yes the police are looking for a number of people. We have one person detained. At this time the investigation is intense on underway, and we believe that in the next day or so we should be able to wrap things up.?

Jacqueline Woods
?Now we know just the other day police in their efforts in combating crime were going around collecting a number of youths to talk to them, will this effort continue as a result of what keeps on happening in Belize City??

G. Michael Reid
?Well certainly the police is tasked to secure a safe Belize and will do everything possible and necessary to ensure that the citizens of this country are able to live in this country peacefully. We know that there were some people who weren?t too happy with what occurred. There is no intent to discomfort anyone, but certainly we need to do what is necessary to ensure that this kind of random shooting does not occur, this indiscriminate shooting where people are being hurt. It?s a situation that is of concern.?

Meanwhile, police continue to look for four suspects involved in a second shooting on Thursday night. Authorities suspect the men were travelling in this blue Toyota Camry around seven and opened fire twenty-one year old Alpheus Smith at the corner of Dean and George Streets. Smith was shot in the face, nose, and pelvic area.

G. Michael Reid
?We don?t think the two shootings were related in anyway, but at this point we have still not determined exactly what the cause was.?

Jacqueline Woods
?What?s happening here, because no doubt you guys have been sitting down, analysing the situation. What you think is the cause for these shootings??

G. Michael Reid
?There is a lot of brainstorming going on, the senior command of the police are meeting on a regular basis and, we?re hoping that it?s an aberration. We?re hoping that it?s not something that we will see sustained for any period of time. We think they are just disagreements among a number of people and this is why we?ve been trying to identify these people and have them try to work out their differences in a way that?s in the best interest of everyone.?

Reid says investigators still do not have a motive for either shooting.

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