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Nov 22, 2019

A Third Attempt on the Life of Justin Stephens

Justin Stephens

A Belize City man was shot and seriously injured on Thursday evening. Police say that security guard Justin Stephens was standing on New Road when someone shot him twice.  Stephens was taken to the hospital and remains there in a critical condition.  A family member told News Five that he has a long road to recovery because an early prognosis is that the shots have taken his eyesight and his ability to walk.  This is the not the first attempt on Stephens’ life. He was shot twice before; the first time, he was only sixteen-years-old. Reporter Andrea Polanco has more.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A third gun attack on the life of twenty-five-year-old Justin Stephens, also known as Justin Teck, has allegedly left him blind and paralyzed. Stephens was standing in front of the carwash on New Road in Belize City on Thursday evening just after six when a man exited a nearby alley and fired several shots at him. One of those shots hit Stephens in the left eye and exited through his right eye; the other shot caught him in his back. This happened a short distance away from the Queen Street Police Station and police say that so far no one has been detained.

While Stephens is expected to survive this shooting, a source close to him says that his life will not be the same and he has a long road to recovery. This is the third time someone has made an attempt on Stephens’ life. The first attack happened in September 2011, when he was just sixteen-years-old; Stephens was shot in the head while he was riding his bike on Freetown Road. He had to do multiple surgeries to recover from the incident. About a month after the shooting, he spoke with News Five – he didn’t remember what had happened the day he was shot.

 

Justin Stephens, Shooting Victim [File: November 1st, 2011]

“Right now I cyant ‘memba none ah dehn thing right now cause right now I feel bad right now.  Right now I gah wah surgery fi go eena right now again fi my head.  Afta that I noh know weh I wah do so I cyant say if I gwein go do something or if I noh gwein do nothing. I really cyant say nothing ‘bout that.”

 

Two men were charged for shooting Stephens. He told us back in 2011 that he liked where he lived.  He described his neighbourhood as nice and good for a while. He didn’t expect that he would be caught up in a gang feud in the area.

 

Justin Stephens

Justin Stephens [File: November 1st, 2011]

“Well eena wah way ih mih kinda nice because right out deh I could go play ball I could go da shop.  I could go buy food fi eat, go dah my peoples dehn house, go dah my granny dehn house or stay with my pickney dehn.  Other than that everything mi kinda good eena wah way too fi a while.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What do you intend to do with your life?”

 

Justin Stephens

“Go back da school [and] if anything go back pan da court out deh [and] play ball but other than that I rather work, try geh wah job fi sih di best ah my life and help my peoples dehn same way too.”

 

Fast forward to seven years later, in January 2018, Stephens was shot for a second time. He was walking on Cemetery Road when a man crept up behind him and fired several shots, one of which caught him in his ankle.  Stephens has now survived the third attempt on his life with the latest shooting allegedly taking his sight and ability to walk. So, from the looks of it, someone wants Stephens dead, but a family member says that they have no idea why.  Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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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