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Oct 9, 2002

Belize City police search for murder suspects

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It was a Tuesday night of mayhem in Belize City as it appears that a group of young men went on a crime spree that included car theft, wounding and ultimately murder. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods picked up the story this morning.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Witnesses who did not wish to appear on camera say whoever killed twenty-one year old Ryan “Frigate bird” Alford, chased him down in a car before he was finally caught here at the corner of Jasmine and Hibiscus streets.

But, police say their initial investigations reveal that Alford was not running at the time he was killed, and was standing at the street corner talking to a young woman, when a clear complexioned man came out of a nearby Chinese shop, walked up to Alford and shot him in his abdomen and face. But the family contends that it was a drive-by shooting. Symbiline Reyes admits that her son was no angel, strongly believes he may have been set up by someone he knew and trusted.

Symbiline Reyes, Mother

“Because he and one of his partners were hanging out, and the partner said he saw the car coming and Ryan was in the back and he was in the front. And the way they let out the bullets, I think he was suppose to get shot at the time too, but nothing happen to him.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So, it was a drive-by shooting?”

Symbiline Reyes

“It’s a drive-by shooting.”

Jacqueline Woods

“They did not give any description of the vehicle?”

Symbiline Reyes

“It’s a blue car.”

Jacqueline Woods

“The police are saying that the shooter is clear-skinned man?”

Symbiline Reyes

“No, it is not a clear skinned man, it was somebody dark, this is somebody really dark. There were three persons in the car.”

Jacqueline Woods

“This is what witnesses have been telling you?”

Symbiline Reyes

“Yes, that’s what they have told us.”

Alford received several bullet wounds to his face and body.

Symbiline Reyes

“One to his ears, one at the brains and one in his navel and the next one, somewhere by the next side of his face; about four bullets.”

Demsley Franklin concedes that his stepson is no stranger to the police. In fact, Alford had been detained on several occasions. Franklin says that prior to his murder, Alford told the family that he had been threatened by several persons because they believed he was a snitch.

Demsley Franklin, Step father

“He keeps saying that guys want to hurt him because they think he informed the police about things that are happening, which is not so. I don’t see why they shot him.”

Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the police found the car abandoned on Oleander Street. As it turned out, the vehicle, which had taxi license plate number D2911, was reported stolen earlier that night.

According to taxi driver, Clifford Burgess, around 9:30 p.m., he was travelling along Central American Boulevard when he was stopped by three dark complexioned men. The men asked Burgess to take them to Police Street. But upon reaching that location, Burgess told police, the men got out and that’s when one of them placed a gun to his head and ordered him to get out of the car. The assailants then stole Burgess’s jewellery and cell phone and then drove off in his vehicle.

Further investigations reveal that the car was not only used as the getaway vehicle in Ryan Alford’s murder, but police believe both the vehicle and its occupants are also linked to another shooting and robbery that occurred the same night.

Authorities say almost one hour after Alford was killed, Raymond Myers was hanging out with friends on Plues Street when a car came towards them. Several shots were fired and Myers received bullet wounds to his left arm and abdomen. The vehicle then sped off.

Sometime later, it is believed the occupants made their way towards River Bottom Lodge on Regent Street West and held-up the bartender. The young woman told police that the two armed masked men pointed a gun at her and demanded money. They were given over two hundred and fifty dollars in cash. The robbers then left in a taxi with license plate number D2911.

Police say although they do have some specific suspects, they have not yet detained anyone in connection with all three incidents. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

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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