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Feb 17, 2020

Kyla Young, Minor, Murdered in Gang-Related Shooting

Kyla Young

A seventeen-year-old girl was murdered on Sunday night as she played cards along with friends at a house on Glenn Street in Belize City.  Kyla Young is the second person to be killed violently among her family members. It is not known if she was the intended target, but investigators say it was a gang-related murder. Young told her mother she was going to Bermudian Landing, but never did and was killed one day later.  Two others were injured: Anselma Flores is hospitalized in a critical condition, while John Peters is in a stable condition. News Five’s Duane Moody has the following report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A teen-aged girl was gunned down inside a property on Glenn Street, adjacent to the Salvation Army Primary School. Kyla Young was hanging out with several other persons inside a yard when a gunman approached and opened fire. Anselma Flores and John Peters were also injured and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they remain receving treatment; Kyla, however, was struck multiple times and laid dead on the floor. Melanie Young says she learned of the incident and hurried to the hospital to find her daughter’s body in the morgue.


Melanie Young

Melanie Young, Mother of Deceased

“I was at home watching the NBA stars game with my uncle and the rest of my family. A young man came and said that my daughter was crying at church, so I said something maybe happened to her to so I didn’t take it as anything. Two young men came from through the alley that know my daughter and asked me where was Kyla and I said I don’t know. The young men dehn came out the alley again and say go and check on your daughter at the hospital. So I became nerve-racking, as before, and I went and I went by the drug store to see if I can get a ride. They said, two young men were looking for me in a car so I came back and they took me to the hospital. When I got there, all and behold I asked where is my daughter and nobody was answering me. And I was complex to find her dead; I only saw her hair and I collapsed.”


Melanie says she last spoke with Kyla on Saturday, when she said that she was going to Bermudian Landing for the weekend. She does not know what her daughter was doing in that area or who she was with.


Melanie Young

“I don’t know. They said she was in a yard playing cards. I don’t know cause the police hasn’t come to us as yet. That’s all I have, only sketchy reports.”


Duane Moody

“The persons that she was with were her friends?”


Melanie Young

“I got no idea. I got no idea.”



“Does she normally frequent that area where she was?


Melanie Young

“Really or truly I don’t know cause she told me she was going to Bermudian Landing and they said they didn’t actually get to go there. All my daughter told me, I’ll see you and that was it.”


…but Kyla was at the Glenn Street property socializing. At a press briefing held today by the Belize Police Department, Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero says that Flores is in a critical condition at the K.H.M.H.


Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“All three persons were hanging out a yard on Glenn Street, Belize City and person or persons unknown came and fired several shots towards their direction causing injuries to John Peters and Anselma Flores and the fatal injuries to Kyla Young. Anselma Flores is admitted at the K.H.M.H. in a critical condition and John Peters is in a stable condition.”


While it is not believed that Kyla was the target of the shooting, police say that the incident is gang-related.


Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Yes we have that information that it is as a result of ongoing rivalry with two groups in that area.”



“And was Miss Young the target?”


Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero

“We are not sure if she was the target. She was at that location when the shooting happened.”


Kareem Clarke

It is yet another tragedy that the Young family is grappling with. Melanie says that they are still reeling from the murder of her brother Kareem Clarke, the reporter who was killed in cold blood back in July of 2015. According to Melanie, Kyla was psychologically affected by the loss of her uncle—she dropped out of school and started to rebel. Despite efforts to get her counselling, she would run away and at one point, ended up living with a cousin. She later returned to their home on Freetown Road.  In her interview, Melanie expressed the pain of a mother wanting to protect her children.


Melanie Young

“I love my children. My children can tell you. I work very hard to make them be comfortable. I talk with them every day. The only thing I didn’t get to tell them often is that I love them, but they knew that I loved them. Whosoever do this to mi daughter, I forgive unu; just like how I forgive the person who kill my brother Kareem because we are God-fearing people.”


Several persons have since been detained in connection with this murder and police have since put in place additional resources in the area. 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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