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Mar 17, 2020

5-Year-Old Kia Herbert is Killed as She Sleeps Inside Her Bedroom

Kia Herbert

The lives of two innocent children were taken following separate shooting incidents on Sunday night and Tuesday morning.  As the city reeled from the crime wave since Sunday, the nation woke up this morning to the shocking and painful news of the murder of five-year-old Kia Herbert. The child was murdered as she slept with her mother inside their home on Pitter Street, in Belize City. She never got to go to school this morning because before two o’clock, she fell victim to the relentless gun violence.  A gunman opened fire on the sleeping child and her mother; Frances Herbert survived the gunshots, but the child did not. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Five-year-old Kia Herbert was sleeping a bedroom along with her mother Frances, when just before two o’clock this morning, when a gunman fired shots from outside towards the bedroom. Bullet holes outside the bedroom wall show that as many as seven shots penetrated the structure. The infant was struck three times while Frances was hit once to the shoulder and remains hospitalized. Desiree Herbert recounts the emotional ordeal when they found out that the infant had been mortally wounded.


Frances Herbert

Voice of: Desiree Herbert, Grandmother of Deceased

“All ah we mi di lay down on the floor last night and we gone sleep and like after two we just wake up to gunshot. We mi feel like dehn just shot up the house; we neva know anybody get shot. Dah when my daughter jump up and ih see the blood and say mommy, mi baby get shot. Then she lift up and scream and say mommy, mommy two times and from there ih just gone. Ih close ih eye and my daughter say mommy call the ambulance for mi; mi baby get shot and ih look like ih di dead.”


Baby Kia was an infant one student at the Unity Presbyterian Primary School. Today, flowers were placed at her desk as the school mourns her death. Principal Dalila Makhwani says that the news of her demise has left the entire institution in shock.


Dalila Makhwani, Principal, Unity Presbyterian Primary School

“I sat down and started to crime because I am familiar with the child. She is an infant one baby. When I come to the different classes, I visit the students and I might sit down and work a little while with them, so I was very familiar with Kia. It was a shock for me and I am very upset about the situation because I am asking myself, I just heard news about a little baby that was shot and the baby died. Now it is another one and now it touched me because it touched my baby, my student. So I was really upset; I cried and I have been crying along with the teachers because she is a child that all the teachers know her because she talk to the teachers and they know her. She is part of the feeding programme so she stay here at the school during lunch time and whichever teacher is taking care of the feeding programme would talk to her and have time with her.”


Who was the intended target of the gun violence and why did the gunman train his weapon specifically at the bedroom in which the mother and daughter slept? Desiree Herbert says that while the second structure in the yard had been shot at in the past, the family is puzzled as to why they would have been targeted.


Voice of: Desiree Herbert

“I got no idea why or who come do this. I just hope they find dah who do it. Kia was a sweet, loving baby. Everybody weh know Kia love Kia cause she always di talk; she have sweet lee dimples. She make conversation with everybody; she friendly, friendly, friendly. Whole neighbourhood weh know Kia, know Kia dah wah sweet lee five year old baby.”


Dalila Makhwani

Dalila Makhwani

“It’s really painful to see to what degree we have reached with this violence here in the country and I think that somebody needs to do something and come in a position where they can find a solution for this because then who will be next. We don’t know. And they are hurting these babies. It pains me to know that this child went through all of this pain because she didn’t get one gunshot, but more than one. I could just imagine seeing that child; I could imagine her in class and with so many gunshots…it is really sad.”


News Five has been informed that at least one person has been detained in the murder investigation. 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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