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Oct 23, 2017

Lamb/Almendarez Families Grieve Twice Over as Cousins Killed within Hours of Each Other

Sydney Lamb & Shaqwuan Almendarez

The Almendarez family has been hit by a string of tragedies; it is heartbreaking to lose a family member to the ongoing urban gun violence but to lose three, the grief is debilitating. Jason Almendarez was the first to be killed on October eleventh and this weekend, Shaqwuan Almendarez, his older brother was murdered in the spate of violence gripping the most murderous municipality.  Less than twenty-four hours before Shaqwuan’s murder, his cousin Sydney Lamb was also gunned down; all in the same vicinity. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A pair of weekend murders within the Lake Independence community has Belize City police working overtime investigating motives for deadly attacks that claimed the lives of forty-two-year-old Sydney Lamb and twenty-five-year-old Shaqwuan Almendarez.  The incidents occurred within twenty-four hours of each other, the first homicide being recorded on Saturday night shortly before 7:30.  Belly, as Lamb was otherwise known, had been working for about twenty years here at Cox Tire Shop on Vernon Street.  On Saturday evening, he was in the vicinity and decided to make a purchase at a nearby corner store on Casuarina Street when he was pounced upon by an unknown assailant.  Lamb’s sister spoke with News Five off-camera.


Voice of: Charlene Lamb, Sister of Deceased

“My auntie called me and told me [that] my brother got shot and I said, “Oh my God!”  Only that I said and I gaan gaan buy a calling card to call my husband to tell him my brother is dead.  And he come and ask me weh happen and I tell ahn dehn shot ahn eena ih head and that’s it, and I come to my auntie and we had a conversation here and that’s it.”


The inconsolable sibling recalls hearing a volley of gunshots, but never thought that the bullets had found their mark on her brother.


Voice of: Charlene Lamb

“I hyah bang, bang, but I mih feel like da somebody else get shot, but I neva know da my bredda get shot.”


This photo of Lamb, taken at the Lord Ridge Cemetery at a recent funeral, was provided to us by his friends at the tire shop.  Both wooden doors are a makeshift memorial for others who have also been killed.  Sadly, his picture will also adorn this crude shrine.  To make matters worse, another grief-stricken sister remembers the last encounter she had with Lamb earlier that day.


Voice of: Sister of Sydney Lamb

“The last time I sih my bredda dah mi di same day.  We had an argument and dat dah weh hurt me because I had an argument with my bredda and I neva know that da mi di last time I mi wah sih my bredda.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is this the first time an incident like this is happening with the family, in terms of someone getting killed?”


Voice of: Sister of Sydney Lamb

“Nope.  I just lose another cousin yesterday.”


That relative is Shaqwuan Almendarez.  He is the second son of Karen Almendarez to be cut down in similar fashion within the past two weeks.  The thought of losing a loved one to gun violence is unbearable, losing two in the span of a few days is totally devastating.


Karen Almendarez

Karen Almendarez, Mother of Deceased

“I noh know if I noh fi sih my son dehn death or what.  Ah wahn be honest with yoh.  When di first one died, I deh da work.  When di second one ya get shot I mi eena my bed di lay down. All I yer da pow, pow, pow.  My oldest son deh pan di door, “Bwai.  Bwai, you di shot my f*cking bredda.  Bwai, bwai.  I have my granddaughter eena my hand pan my bed.  My baby di bawl, then my other daughter run outta fu she room, run eena my room.  “Ma stay een ya.  Moses, lock di f*cking door.”  Dehn di go off.  So like I noh know, I noh di yer, I noh di sih.  Da like I just blank out to everything.  When I do return back, I just spring through my front door and come through di front door.  I noh know if di gunshot man mi deh round or what.  When I fly downstairs and come by the gate my son di gasp fu blood.”


Shaqwuan had been shot in the chest and right wrist.  According to police, he was followed home and expunged at his front gate.  His mother says that he had been receiving numerous threats following the murder of his brother on October tenth.


Karen Almendarez

“My other son get threat.  Over and over and over he get threats.  My son tell di police dehn.  Di police dehn laugh atta he and tek he fi wahn ass.  Sorry fu seh it like that.  Di GSU dehn cohn ya, clown he up.  “Bwai Tala dah you next bwai.  Di Big Fish seh da you next, you gwein down.  Just like how dehn kill yo bredda, you gwein down.”  No protection.  Dehn tek ahn fi wahn clown.  The GSU and the police dehn di protect di big fish.”


It is unclear who Almendarez is referring to.  All indications are, however, that she knows who is behind her sons killings.


Karen Almendarez

“The Saturday we bury fu we son and the Saturday night my son call the big fish and my son di talk to the big fish.  My son tell ahn, “F*ck mi bredda, yoh done kill my bredda already my bwai, I noh eena dis.  Look like da wahn war zone you want.  F*ck bwai, give we fu we respect.  And like he di plea to ahn.  You da wahn big war, me da only me one, right.  And di big fish tell ahn plain and straight, “Bwai, da soh ih happen and da soh ih wahn happen.”  And that da weh all he tell di policeman too, but as ah seh, dehn tek ahn fu wahn clown.  From di GSU cohn ya and tek ahn fi wahn clown.”


The recent fatalities within the Lamb and Almendarez families are taking a significant toll on Belly’s distraught sister.


Voice of: Sister of Sydney Lamb

“Last two weeks one of my cousin just bury and ih next bredda gaan yesterday so we di tek it haad cause we lose another cousin and plus we lose wah bredda. So ih haad.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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