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Sep 27, 2021

Another Innocent Teenager is Gunned Down in Belize City

Dwayne Gabourel

He was a son, a student, a friendly young man who never got in trouble and just wanted to play basketball. One glance at his picture, or a moment listening to him deliver an SJC speech via Facebook, and we instantly recognize Dwayne Gabourel as one of our own. His death, like seven other minors before him in recent weeks, is causing an outpouring of national grief and recriminations. Isani Cayetano reports on the latest inexplicable, senseless loss of a beloved Belizean boy.


Rhondine Almendarez, Mother of Deceased

“My baby noh know what da gang.  My baby look pan me, he fifteen years old, fifteen years old and he seh, “Mommy, I wahn be wahn basketball player.” He eena third form.  He eena third form da SJC, one ah Belize top college.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Another teenager is dead, the eighth minor to be killed in a relentless spate of gun violence that continues to grip the country. Fifteen-year-old Dwayne Gabourel is the latest victim of a ruthless attack inside a grocery store on Saturday evening that has snuffed his young life. His dreams of being an athlete are dashed and his killer remains on the loose.


Rhondine Almendarez

Rhondine Almendarez

“It all happened about ten past [five] Saturday evening. He mi di play ball and he rush upstairs to me and he tell me, ih seh, “Mommy, yoh want ah go buy pack bread or yoh wahn knead. I tell ahn, “No baby, buy di bread.” He grab di five dollars and he race down di step because he like run and he gaan da shop. I usually stand up pan di veranda deh and wait. I hyah di shot. Bang, bang, bang, dat da di sound weh ring out eena my head.”


At that moment, Rhondine Almendarez told her two daughters to take cover, not knowing that her son was the target of a gunman who entered Maulette’s Grocery with the sole purpose of carrying out a gangland execution. By all accounts, Dwayne Gabourel was never involved in gang activity.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Dwayne Gabourel, as you would know, is not a gang member. He had not one iota of gang affiliation, not even his family members are involved in gangs and so, certainly, he did not deserve to die the way he did.”


Surveillance footage of what transpired inside the store shows Gabourel standing at the counter making a purchase when another individual approaches him from behind, takes aim with a firearm and pulls the trigger.


Rhondine Almendarez

“I wish I mi seh ah wahn knead, I wish I mi seh ah wahn need. I seh, “Baby, go buy di bread.” And he humble, and he humble and his obedience cost he ih life. Obedience di cost my baby ih life.”


Despite being rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for emergency medical attention, Gabourel’s prognosis was grim. His mother describes the scene, as well as her immediate response to what she encountered.


Rhondine Almendarez

“I dreg my baby helpless body, helpless lee body I dreg and when I dreg ahn I fight with ahn and I put ahn eena di back ah di truck and I get een and I sihdown and I hold on to ih pants. One spell no breathing and I holla atta ahn and I seh, “Pa, breathe fi me… and di policeman seh, “Yes mommy, noh stop that.”


This morning, after being hospitalized for two nights, Dwayne succumbed to injuries he sustained during the armed assault. While he may not have been associated with any of the gangs on his side of the city, the neighborhood in which lives is known for a standing rivalry with Majestic Alley. Over the years, that bitter enmity has also claimed several lives.


Chester Williams

“I could just imagine what the parents and family members of young Dwayne Gabourel may be going through but I do believe that as a nation, we need to get together and we need to pray and see we can collectively do together to address the scourge of crime within our communities.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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