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Nov 15, 2019

Fire-fighter ‘Baney’ Lennan is Latest Murder Victim

Jiovanni Ian "Baney" Lennan

A firefighter was executed early on Thursday night. He was heading to his house on Welch Street, Belize City when Jiovanni Ian Lennan, was ambushed from behind by a gunman who delivered the fatal blast to his head. Lennan had just left the National Fire Service located on Cleghorn Street where he was training recruits. His family, friends and colleagues are in shock at the murder of one of their own. Lennan was considered a decent person and had no record with the law so his execution is puzzling. Police set chase and managed to capture the alleged gunman at the Roger Stadium. News’ Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Jiovanni Ian Lennan, better known as “Baney,” was on his way home on Welch Alley, which connects Iguana and Gibnut Streets, when he came under gunfire after seven o’clock. Surveillance footage in the area captured how an unsuspecting Lennan walked down the alley and a gunman creeps up behind him before firing a close range shot to the head. The gunman then runs away. Within seconds Lennan is motionless on the pavement with his face up in a pool of his own blood.

 

Alejandro Cowo

Supt. Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Eastern Division

“Last night just at about seven-thirty, police were called to Welch Alley where they observed a male person lying face up. He was identified as Jiovanni Lennan; he had apparent gunshot wounds to his body.”

 

Lennan had just left work at the National Fire Service on Cleghorn Street where he was assigned to training a group of volunteer recruits. A fire-fighter for over eight years, Lennan had recently passed a promotional exam and was to move up the ranks. But his life was cut short. The news spread like wildfire and his co-workers remain in disbelief. Ty Bradley and Lennan were not only co-workers; they both played basketball with the National Elite Basketball League. Lennan played with the Griga Ballers Although on opposing teams, Bradley says they were good friends.

 

Ty Bradley

Ty Bradley, Co-worker of Deceased

“I mi gone on the basketball court and chill out wah lee bit with a couple of my friends and we deh deh and the next thing I know is that something happen to Baney and I was like, “No can’t be cause I just left him at work.” And that was when I get the news. That mi sad; that dah sad news to me and I neva like that. He was a nice guy. He dah neva no bad guy to me. He dah neva no gunman or nothing like that. He was a co-worker to mine and nice guy. Everybody know the man as a good guy. Mien I still di try get over that news deh. I deh yah work right yah now and everything just happen sudden like that.”

 

Colin Gillett

Colin Gillett, Fire Chief

“From what I know of him and every day you see him, he was like “Hi chief; how’s it going?” He is very soft spoken, so I know that part. But there was never any signs of any trouble for us.”

 

A police officer, who was in the vicinity responded to the shooting, and set chase behind the gunman. There was an exchange of gunfire before the gunman scaled the fence to the Roger’s Stadium, but he was soon after captured inside the compound. That suspect, who is expected to be charged within twenty-four hours, is no stranger to the law and was recently charged in connection with the murder of Lyndon Bailey. Superintendent Alejandro Cowo says that while the police were able to apprehend catch the suspect, the murder weapon has not been found.

 

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“A police officer was in the immediate area. He heard a gunshot and he proceeded to that location and as he was approaching that area, he saw a male person running from the scene with a firearm on his hand. He ordered the male person to stop; however, the person raised his hand and pointed a firearm at his direction. As a result, the police pulled out his serviced firearm and fired a shot at the male person who thereafter ran through some houses, through a construction site and then jumped into the Roger’s Stadium where he was later caught by police officers. Yes he is known to us. I know that he was dealt with previously for also a shooting that happened by Youth for the Future Drive. I know that those charges were withdrawn from him and only one person is in remand at this moment for that murder.  Last night we did a thorough search of the area; however, we were unsuccessful in finding the firearm. I know that police officers were there early this morning and are still trying to canvass the area to see if we can locate the firearm from there.”

 

So what could have triggered the crime? Lennan is a law-abiding citizen, but police say they are looking at all angles to determine the motive.

 

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“We are still trying to establish the exact motive as we know, Mister Lennan was a person who from his work to his house and he associates with people of good character. We have not had any indication of him being a gang member or doing things out of the law. But we are following several leads that can possibly tell us what is the motive behind his death.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, might it have been of a domestic or personal nature; that somebody may have escalated what might have been a personal dispute or soh into something that bwai man have to dead.”

 

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Well we are looking at that information likewise as people are commenting. That is one of the angles that we are looking at and we are looking at other angels that we have.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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