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Jan 21, 2022

Tanga is Executed After Leaving Court; Michael Lambey Gunned Down on Curl Thompson

Joseph James

It has been a violent start to 2022 with Belize City being the national hotspot once again. Last night Michael Lambey was killed on Curl Thompson Street, and Joseph James was gunned down in broad daylight after leaving court. Isani Cayetano reports. 


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

In the past forty-eight hours, Belize City has recorded three murders, the most recent taking place this morning in the vicinity of the downtown area.  Joseph James, known to many as Tanga, was executed near the corners of Prince Street and West Canal, as he drove a sports utility vehicle in the company of Marybeth Wade.  Norma James was waiting for her grandson at his house, but he never arrived.  An hour or so later, a neighbor would come over to inform her of the deadly shooting that also left Wade injured.


Norma James, Grandmother of Deceased

“Di neighbor come cross and cohn tell we weh happen but I noh know what else gone on, I noh nothing bout ih life or who, if anybody have anything wid ahn or what cause we noh follow ahn uplike that, right.”


During the armed assault, the thirty-three-year-old attempted to drive away from his attackers but collided into a concrete fence on the other side of the waterway.  The SUV tore a hole into the wall before coming to rest on the sidewalk.  James had just left from the courthouse where he had a scheduled appearance for a previous offense.  In July of last year, Tanga, along with four others, including the Baptist and Grinage brothers, were arrested and charged for brandishing an illegal firearm in a video that was shared on social media.


Norma James

Norma James

“This morning, we seh that we wahn cohn ya, cohn cohn hail ahn fi cohn talk bout something, right. Me and ih grandpa come and when we come back ya, dehn tell me seh that ih done gone da court already cause ih girlfriend tell me that ih gone da court.  So we gone and I tell ih girlfriend fi call ahn and tell ahn that me and ih grandpa di wait fi ahn fi when ih come from court, right. So we sihdown from morning diwait pan ahn.”


The father of four, it is believed, was on the wrong side of town when he was ambushed. In October 2021, Tanga would become a viral sensation yet again when two women, including Marybeth Wade, would go on a profane social media rant, arguing over him.  The online spat coined the popular expression, “entangament.” This was while he was purportedly locked up at the Belize Central Prison.  But his cousin, who spoke with us off-camera, chose to remember him for the caring person he was.


Voice of Relative of Deceased

“Anyone that wanted anything, he would always find a way to help them.  That is him.  Who didn’t know Tanga, that is the good part of him. We don’t know nothing that he did, we don’t know nothing that he does. People talk things about him and say a lot about him, but he is a nice person.  He never showed us no bad side of him. He had his friends, he had people that always talked to, but his family was the main, important thing to him.”


Notwithstanding his past, the James family is grieving the loss of their loved one.



Michael Lambey

Norma James

“Ih really hard because you know what fi sihdown and wait fi somebody and fi hyah wahn shocking news like that. We sihdown ya di wait for ahn and we hyah wahn shocking news and ih very hard and tough fi cohn sihdown ya fi cohn hyah that this happen to ahn now. Ih really hardto me, hard.”


James’ murder was preceded by another deadly attack on Thursday evening.  It happened across town in the Jane Usher Boulevard neighborhood.  Twenty-six-year-old Michael Lambey was standing on Curl Thompson Street, in the company of another individual when a pair of gunmen emerged from the direction of Mud Street and opened fire. Injured, Lambey fell to the ground.  His attacker then stood over him and completed his assignment before fleeing the scene of the shooting in a waiting vehicle.  Police are yet to provide additional details on these latest homicides.


Isani Cayetano reporting 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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