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Oct 24, 2017

Is ‘Big Tom’ Next to Die?

Jason and Shaqwuan Almendarez

Police are on high alert tonight as gun violence in the Lake Independence area of the Old Capital escalates in the wake of the murders of Almendarez siblings, Jason and Shaqwuan, and a cousin, Sydney Lamb.  At the heart of the latest hostility is Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers. The known street figure told the media today that he is a marked man and that he lives in fear of his life after receiving numerous death threats. He believes the weekend killing of his dog was a warning sign and social media since Monday night has been abuzz with threats of bloodshed if Flowers is killed. Karen Almendarez, the mother of the siblings, has fingered Big Tom in the murders of her sons; an allegation he refutes. But while the motive has not been officially confirmed, word on the street is that the murders of the Almendarez siblings were allegedly triggered by money. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

“My life di get threaten everyday from different people, from different place.  I supposed to dead di twenty-sixth of October.  So that dah weh di out deh, yoh know weh ah mean.  So I noh know weh day todeh, but I supposed to dead di twenty-sixth of October.  I have it pan message and everything.”


Isani, Cayetano, Reporting

An ominous warning that Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers will meet a grisly end in the days ahead, is the latest threat amid a wave of gun violence that is rippling across Belize City.  The intent to cause harm follows a string of murders, including the fatal shootings of brothers Jason and Shaqwaun Almendarez.  Both executions were carried out with lethal precision in the Lake Independence community within two weeks of each other and Flowers is believed to be the mastermind behind the killings.


Karen Almendarez

Karen Almendarez, Mother of Murder Victims

“You send your coonies fu tek down Tala.  Shaqwaun Brandon Almendarez, you tek he down fronta my gate, dis gate right here.  You send, you neva have di heart fi cohn to my door mouth and kill my son.  Yoh neva have di heart fi cohn da Jasmine Street deh and kill my next son, but dis da weh I got fi tell you Big Fish, same GSU and police weh di protect you, di same GSU and police will bring you down.”


…words spoken in anger and resentment by a mother who has since lost three of her nine sons to gunshots.  The Big Fish that Karen Almendarez refers to is presumably Flowers, whose alias is eerily close to the name she constantly mentions.  Big Tom vehemently denies any allegation of involvement in either homicide.


Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

“Well I noh have nothing fi do wid dat. you know.  Da just accuse dehn di accuse me.  I already talk to the same young man dat get killed and I talk to ih bredda dat work at the mail place and I explain to dehn, yoh know weh ah mean.  I noh know weh da di situation between that when he get killed, yoh know weh ah mean.  Dehn time I da di one weh get blame fi di murda dehn, soh I noh why I wahn get blame fi something when I noh even around.”


According to Almendarez, whose older son Jason was shot and killed on Jasmine Street on October tenth, the feud is the result of monies being owed among the cousins.


Karen Almendarez

“Fish owe he six thousand dollars, right.  He cohn ya, I mi deh da work, he cohn ya and di Fish tell ahn bwai ah wahn two hundred dollars.  Jason tell ahn, anytime yo give me my six thousand dollars then ah could give yo two hundred.  But people fraid fi talk.  Di Fish tell ahn, Jason pow, pow, but Jason neva tek it dat serious.  Jason gaan buy ih food.  Di Fish time ahn when ih go and buy ih food da Jasmine Street because sometimes di Fish ker he dah Jasmine Street go buy ih food.”


While Flowers admits to frequenting the takeout with Jason Almendarez, he maintains that he had nothing to do with his murder.


Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

“I’m not involved with none ah dehn, yoh know weh ah mean.  Dehn noh have nothing fi me and di brother dat get killed before, every day I goh pick up di brother.  Anytime he wahn go somewhere, go anywhere dah me go pick up ahn, yoh know weh ah mean.  By di end ah di day dehn supposed to be my family, so I noh know how I wahn be di one weh wahn kill dehn son, yoh know weh ah mean.  Dehn time fi dehn di cohn and accuse me ah di same thing then now dehn seh that GSU pass and seh di big man seh you fi dead next.  So weh kinda thing di police di uphold?”


It’s a question he is openly asking because he has been the subject of much torment since Sunday evening, in the wake of Shaqwuan’s murder.  Big Tom says he is living in fear of the police and his perceived enemies.


Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

“I noh muss fear fi my life because then yoh have di police dehn di come every day.  I di get threats every day, yoh know weh ah mean.  I done sih weh dehn do to my friend dehn.  Consistent, consistent di police dehn just go and just kill yo, nothing come outta it. I fear fi my life.  I noh wahn go da my house, everyday dehn go deh.  Dehn just gaan, shoot my dog when my dog chain up.  So imagine, that da di example dehn show me weh dehn wah do to me when dehn meet me, yo sih weh ah di seh.”


The hunt for an alleged criminal, purportedly a hired gun for Big Tom, has led police to the residence of Cherry Sutherland on Flamboyant Street where an entire family was rounded up and charged for possession of pipe that is sold as a souvenir at the Fort Street Tourism Village.


Cherry Sutherland

Cherry Sutherland, Resident, Flamboyant Street

“From Sunday night, Nah and Mr. Sutherland di come da my house di look fi somebody weh name Dan, or I noh know weh di hell di young man name, Dan.  I have kids, I have young baby da my house, my grandkids, yoh know.  Dehn noh cohn wid sense, dehn cohn like bully di rush eena di house di point gun eena yo face.  Dehn noh ask no question, dehn noh have no warrant, yo undastand mi.  If dehn woulda cohn good and seh da gun and ammunition wi di cohn look fa, no kinda question.  Dehn just bust een and dig up di whole spot. He was my son-in-law, well, is my son-in-law, but he is not there, ih noh live deh.  Ih noh live deh, yoh undastand mi.  Dehn mi have ahn eena custody, da noh fu we fault di young man get weh outta fi dehn hand.  Dehn mi got ahn already, yo undastand.  Da noh fu we fault di young man get weh from dehn.  Dehn mi fu keep wahn eye pan he dah courthouse.  And dehn di harass my house when I noh know weh ih live, weh ih gaan or weh paat ih gaan stay or who ih gaan stay wid.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is this in any way related to what is taking place with Big Tom and…”


Cherry Sutherland

“Dehn seh my son da Tom hit man or side man.  Weh kinda thing dat! Dehn da cousin!”


As to the consistent threats on Big Tom’s life allegedly by the police, he says he is ready to die, but will only do so for the right reason.


Kenneth ‘Big Tom’ Flowers

“Di police dehn noh do dehn job di right way, so I woulda wish dehn do dehn job di right way.  So if dehn wahn kill me, I noh fraid fi dehn kill me but I wahn dead fi wahn reason.  I noh wahn dead because dehn seh I supposed to dead.  I wahn dead because I wahn di people dehn ah dis country undastand, ih noh wahn be me.  Ih wahn be unu son, ih wahn be somebody else years to cohn, ih wahn got di same problem, so betta wih solve di problem one time than mek di problem continue.”


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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1 Response for “Is ‘Big Tom’ Next to Die?”

  1. John Doe says:

    No time to cry like a baby. You made so many mothers cryed for their love ones. Now its your turn dont cry, accept it your time. When you send for John Doe, I never ball on facebook and cry to the media or the police. I took it how you send it. The father is not sleeping crybaby, i can hear in your voice you want to cry. Dont fear now, you didnt fear when you send for me.

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