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Feb 16, 2017

Jason Cortez Gunned Down in Old Capital

Jason Cortez

There has not been a murder in the City since February third when Keimar Nicholas succumbed to shooting injuries sustained days earlier.  But early on Wednesday night, gunshots were heard in the south side of the city. Twenty-one-year-old Jason Cortez of Balan Street was shot multiple times as he walked on Western Avenue.  He died within minutes at the K.H.M.H.  At this early stage in the investigation, police cannot confirm if Cortez’s murder is linked to last week’s shooting of Alrick August which occurred on the same street. The family believes that Cortez knew his killer. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around news time on Wednesday night, shots rang out in the Saint Martin De Porres area of the Old Capital. As the echo of the blasts subsided, another Belize City youth was killed. Twenty-one-year-old Jason Cortez was shot multiple times to the chest, abdomen, back and buttocks as he walked on Western Avenue. Several witnesses say he ran from the shooter who it is believed was trailing him. Cortez was rushed to the K.H.M.H., but succumbed minutes later.


Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood, Media Officer, Belize Police Department

“Jason Cortez, twenty-one-year-old, was walking on Western Avenue when he was approached by a lone gunman who fired several shots at him. Unfortunately he got most of it to his body: the chest, the abdomen area, back. He was rushed to the K.H.M.H. and succumbed whilst undergoing treatment. We have since detained one person for questioning and hope that that might lead to an arrest. The quickness of which this happened, it had to be that someone was following him because it was like within quick minutes that this person approached him and opened fire…and he was just walking up the street.”


Cortez was last seen alive sometime after five p.m. by his family at their home on Balan Street, which is several blocks away from where he was targeted. His sister, Deborah Cortez, says that he left on a bicycle and shortly thereafter, her common-law husband would rush home bearing the bad news. Deborah believes that her brother knew his killer.


Voice of: Deborah Cortez, Sister of Murder Victim

“When he come by my house about after five. He spent about fifteen or twenty-minutes the most then he jump on his bike and ih gone. And as the minute ih gone down the lane, we get the news that ih deh pan the street layout.”


Duane Moody

“Who notified you guys about what happened?”


Voice of: Deborah Cortez

“Mi common-law husband.”



“So he saw Jason on the ground and he came to tell you what happened?”


Voice of: Deborah Cortez

“Yes, as the minute ih saw and make out that it was Jason that was on the ground laying down, he come right away—left weh ih mi di do—and come and tell we that mi bredda deh pan the street layout. Then we all went and see and that it is true that it is him.



“But as you said, he wasn’t dead when you all saw him.”


Voice of: Deborah Cortez

“No, he wasn’t dead; he was still breathing. But on the way going to the hospital, then he passed [away].”


Alrick August

But is the murder of Cortez retaliatory for the attempt made on the life of twenty-three-year old Alrick August, just one week ago?  Interestingly, August was gravely shot up to eight times to the chest, neck and arm also on Western Avenue, but at the opposite end of the street near the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Media Officer of the Belize Police Department, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, says that the investigation is ongoing to determine a motive.


Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood

“In all fairness to my investigators, I don’t want to try to connect any dots, but we are definitely looking at various possibilities, various angles. And like I said, with the quickness of the police response, we were able to rush him because we had to transport him to the hospital. Our officers did not rest until we detained someone that we believe is a suspect. So let us see where that leads and then probably I can get back to you on that.”


Duane Moody

“In terms of a motive…I know that I asked just now about whether it is linked to the shooting of Alrick August, but we know that that area is very sensitive because of the rivaling gangs there. Is there anything indicating that that could be a possible motive for the crime?”


Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood

“Duane, like I said, I do not want to speculate and that would be speculation for me to answer that question. So like I said, we will see where the investigators go from here and then we will get back to you.”


Jason was the youngest boy of five children; he was charged back on February twelfth 2015, for the aggravated burglary of a catamaran on Middle Caye. While Deborah asserts that her brother has had run-ins with the law, he didn’t deserve to be so brutally killed.


Voice of: Deborah Cortez

“In my view, I can’t say that…yes ih have ih ups and down with the law. everybody; no one is perfect, no one is special. But whosoever do this neva had to do it that way deh. At least shot ahn but in ih foot or somewhere so ih could survive, give ahn wah ‘nother change—noh kill ahn like wah dog.”


Police have since detained one person in connection with this latest homicide. 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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1 Response for “Jason Cortez Gunned Down in Old Capital”

  1. The Unknown says:

    Well lets look at it this way….. This is a simple case of one criminal removing another of the streets may seem inhumane but its actually a good for society….

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