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Jan 3, 2018

Killer Struck Unsuspecting Couple in Belama Phase 2; Bel-Am Husband Shielded Wife

Stephanie & Jermain Vellos

A visiting father of one was to return to the United States this Thursday after spending the holidays here, but his life was cut short before he could make the journey back to New York. Thirty-seven-year-old Jermain Ryan Vellos and his wife, Stephanie, had just arrived at a Belama home from a nearby shop when two armed men ambushed the couple.  He attempted to shield his wife from the spray of bullets but was mortally wounded and died, becoming the second murder victim since the start of the year. According to a family member, the gunmen were looking for someone else. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Murder number two for 2018 occurred during news time on Tuesday night in the rather quiet neighborhood of Belama Phase Two on the north side of Belize City. Residents say the blasts of seven to eight shots echoed in the distance as a couple was fired upon. Thirty-seven-year-old Jermain Ryan Vellos, a Belizean warehouse machine operator of Queens, New York was hit multiple times to the body and died on the steps of a house on Maurice Bishop Street. His wife, twenty-nine-year-old Stephanie Foreman Vellos was struck to the right leg and grazed to the left hand.  The duo was returning home from a shop when two masked gunmen appeared with a gun and fired shots in their direction.


Voice of: Neighbor

“It sounded like pop shots at first; the gentleman who lived in New York City came from the shop probably around seven-fifteen, seven-twenty soh. He’s walking up the steps and it looks like I got ambushed by probably one or two gunmen. They caught him in the middle of the steps. Personally I didn’t see anyone. But one of the sisters happened to say there were two gunmen; they were both wearing masks and they probably came from the water side or something. I doubt they could have came from the streets. Like I said, whoever they were trying to catch, they was trying to ambush the person.”


Jermain Ryan Vellos

Kareem Myvette says Jermain was visiting his wife and son; he’s been in Belize for about three weeks for the Christmas holidays and was to return to the U.S. this Thursday. His wife was first hit twice by the bullets and then Jermain, posing as a shield, was shot four or five times before the gunmen escaped.


Kareem Myvette, Cousin of Murder Victim

“He was just in the house all day being that he’s leaving tomorrow, which is Thursday, he just wanted to spend a little extra time with his wife. You know, go for a little walk, get a lee food, ice cream…whatever the case may be. It was early in the evening, she just got off work, she looked a little stressed—from my understanding—he just wanted to spend some time before it was his time to leave. So upon reaching back, they were heading up the stairs. From my understanding, two gunmen came masked in black.”


Kareem Myvette

Jermain perished minutes after getting shot. Stephanie was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment and has since been treated and released.


Voice of: Neighbor

“He was still breathing and everything. And he was in shock so we was telling the police to ker the man to the hospital, but they didn’t want to ker the body like he was already dead. The sister was still on the steps screaming and they didn’t want to ker the man and we didn’t have no right to take the man. So unfortunately this is the outcome.”


It appears that Vellos was not the intended target, and the incident may have been a case of mistaken identity.  From several accounts, the gunmen called out for someone and when told that he is not there, opened fire at the unsuspecting couple.


Voice of: Neighbor

“I don’t know if he knows. They called out a name, I guess the target who they wanted and the sister yelled out this is not such and such, but the person still started shooting the shots. And the dude just dropped on the ground and that was like it.”


Kareem Myvette

“They said a name…Dickie said no call no name cause so I am not going to speak nobody’s name, but whoever they were looking for was not there. So I don’t know what happened, they started letting out shots. The wife was hit first and him being the man that he is—he is so strong and loving—he stepped in front of her—so he received the rest of the blow. And she’s there holding him and the ambulance arrived and he wasn’t responding so. Basically, he didn’t survive. So at the end of the day it is just mistaken identity. Whoever you are, you know what you did. You know it is the wrong guy; just turn yourself in. just a short message from me to you. Don’t let it go more than it has to go. You know you did the wrong thing. If you have a heart, turn yourself in.”


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 “Killer Struck Unsuspecting Couple in Belama Phase 2; Bel-Am Husband Shielded Wife”

  1. Anonymous says:

    DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!! Belize is becoming such a horrible place. The justice and police system need to do more to clean up the city and prevent crimes like this from happening. Whether it be more surveillance or more police presence in the streets but something needs to be done. Belizeans are killing each other and killing foreigners! It needs to stop. Soon other countries will put out advisory warning regarding traveling to Belize and then the countries tourist economy will go to shit. Wake up Belize!

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