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May 11, 2015

Kjiel Young Meets Violent End on Vernon Street

Kjiel Young

The weekend violence continued on Saturday night.  In Belize City, Kjiel Young’s life was snuffed out of him and one knows for sure why he was executed as he sat in a yard on Vernon Street. Several shots found their mark on the back of the nineteen year old whose demise was immediate. His execution came after he was reportedly involved in an altercation. Police were quick to arrive on the scene and houses in the neighborhood were searched for suspects.  Duane Moody reports.


Kenecia Velasquez, Aunt of Deceased

“I was sitting down talking and I had scolded him and he was mad with me for two days. The third morning, I got up and I was going to work early and he came to me after not talking to me for two days and he said auntie give me a five dollars please. So I told her Kjiel, yo see auntie weh yo noh the talk to, but I will give yo di five because he was kind and loving. He was always grouchy, but he had his ways. But he is not a bad person to say no one would want to kill him.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

That was one of the fondest memories of Kjiel Young, a Belize City youth from the Vernon Street area, whose life was cut shot on Saturday night just a block away from where he lived. Following the brazen shooting around nine o’clock that night, another Belize City family is grieving the loss of their loved one to the persistent gun violence. Young died moments after being shot with a nine millimeter pistol by a lone gunman.


Alden Dawson

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson, O.C., Precinct 2, Eastern Division

“Sometime around 9:30 p.m., police responded to a shooting on Vernon Street. Upon arrival at number forty-five Vernon Street, they learned that one Kjiel Young, nineteen years, was shot at that location. While he was seated in the yard, he was approached from behind by a lone gunman who fired several shots at him which led to his passing away.”


Kjiel was shot multiple times as he sat on a chair in front of this house on Vernon Street, with his back facing the street. The nineteen year old former student of Gwen Lizarraga High School was outside the house “rolling up a stick of weed,” when he was ambushed from behind. His aunt, Kenecia Velasquez, says he was shot four times to the back.


Kenecia Velasquez

“I was playing Mega Bingo…after that I heard about seven shots fired. When the shots had stopped, I said that it was the opposite way from where the shots were really coming from. And my boyfriend told me no, it was from right from in front of Miss Babsy. But I remember my daughter was out there and I run out—he told me not to go out, but when I remembered that my daughter was out there—I came out and I run out there. Before I get to my sister gate, the young lady from where it happened came bawling out for my sister. And I said oh my god, dah Kjiel get shot. And by the time I reach to the scene where it happened, two of his friends were already putting him in the back of a pickup and I stopped the vehicle and I jumped into the vehicle. Before we left from behind here, he had died; he didn’t die at the hospital. They were planning for a party so everybody else was inside. And they told him to either come in or go home, but he stayed right and roll his weed and I guess he didn’t feel anyway about sitting out there by himself. He got about five or six shots. I know he got about four or five in his back, one in his foot. Where the other one went, I don’t know, but I count about five or six.”


…Within minutes, however, his life was cut short.  Information is that Young was involved in a ‘hard-talk’ with an individual, prior to the fatal attack on him. Could that have been the motive behind his killing? From all accounts from relatives and friends, as well as the police, Kjiel, was not a part of any gang nor has he had run-ins with the law.


Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson

“At this time, we do not really have a motive. Investigators are still out on the ground at this time trying to establish a motive and at the same time the search of a suspect.”


Duane Moody

“Sir, is Mister Young known to the police as a troublemaker?”


Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson

“I can’t say at this time. We don’t have anything at this time to say that he is known to the police on this scale.”


Kenecia Velasquez

Kenecia Velasquez

“I don’t know about him having any problems with anybody. I won’t say that they don’t go through little stuff because it is a crowd of them that hang out, but I would say petty things like arguments off bicycles and different things like that. But to say somebody out there he had a problem with or people were threatening him, we don’t know anything about that. He had just graduate from Gwen Liz last year. He’s nineteen years old and he was doing construction work. When he comes home, he hangs out there where the whole neighborhood goes to hang out. It is not anything gang affiliated or anything like that.”


The incident is even more heart-wrenching for the family because, this is now the second brother gone.


Kenecia Velasquez

“We don’t even know who did it. That’s the thing that has us puzzled. We don’t know who did it. But whosoever did it, all I am saying to them, my sister loss one of her kids already…she had three sons and now she is only left with one. And what they have her and our family going through; it isn’t nice for nobody to go through. He is young; he had his whole life ahead of him.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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