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Apr 11, 2022

Beloved Musician and Athlete John King Gunned Down

It was supposed to be the start of a season of celebration as Palm Sunday ushers in Holy Week, but this past weekend was filled with violence, accidents, and sorrow for many. Among the deaths that hit Belize City the hardest was the murder of John King, a musical artist and athlete. Many are questioning the motive behind this cold blooded shooting, since King was not known to be a member of any gang. News Five’s Paul Lopez has the story.


John King

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Belizean musician and athlete John King was gunned down on Saturday night on Victoria Street. He was socializing inside this concrete house when someone outside shouted for “Evil”, the alias of a man who was also inside the home. King opened the door only to be met by a gunman who unleashed a hail of bullets. Kimberly Arnold was inside with her child at the time of the shooting.


Kimberly Arnold

Kimberly Arnold, Resident

“All I can say is that day, God turn me into a human rat, because when I heard the first shot I was about to say what the F is that. But, before I got to say the F it’s because I had to jump behind the bed, cover my baby with the two pillow, stuff myself in a hole like this. I had to stuff me and my baby in a hole like this between my bed and my wall.”


The gun man then fled the scene leaving in his wake John King’s body on the concrete floor riddled with gunshot wounds. Arnold is puzzled as to why anyone would target King.


Kimberly Arnold

“I could never explain to you what really happened, because it is not what had happened. It is what the person who did it thought when they came to do it. It is not that the incident has occurred because that is an innocent person. So you are asking me what happened. I can’t tell you because he didn’t do or harm anyone.”


And that is the sentiment we got from everyone we spoke to today about John King. He grew up in the heart of a gang ridden neighborhood known as ‘Jungle’ on the South Side of Belize City. But, by all accounts he was not into guns and the fast life. King often shared the struggles and challenges of his community through the music he made with Echo Middleton and Kyron Bennett of Team No Sleep Music.  Both young men are devastated by King’s murder.


Echo Middleton

Echo Middleton, Team No Sleep music

“John music was always uplifting music. It was always uplifting. Never one day could I say John come to me with negative lyric, never one day. All his music dah bout him uplifting himself. He wants his friends to live a better life. Dah always the positive side ah life. Though we the guh through hardship, dah always bout the positive side. One of his line eena his song, nuh matter how hard this life get, still have to hold it out. Right now I nuh wah lie to we the try hold it out, but this rough. And John, when he come dah the studio I could be the person in a sad mood and he wah come nuh today, we the vibes.”


Kyron Bennett

Kyron Bennett, Team No Sleep music

“Deh lef we bruk up. Deh lef the whole music community broken. Everybody the eena tears right now. You might nuh see it right now, but I the cry from last night fih my lee bway. Like literally, unu nuh know weh unu do to we, unu nuh know weh unu do to we.”


King equally loved sports. He played football at the highest level in Belize alongside one of the nation’s top players, Ian Gaynair. We spoke to Gaynair who lamented the senseless killings in Belize.


Ian Gaynair, Belizean Athlete

“Me as a football player, as a well known figure in Belize, just like the loss of Jermaine, the athlete world, we got to mourn because it could happen to anyone of us. The killing in Belize needs to stop especially with athlete. Everyone knows John King know he is not a problem person. John King was very talented. He know how to play football, know how to dance, how to DJ, could be a mic man. John King was an artist. Me as a black man very worried. I worried about my life in Belize every day. Sometimes I feel like my life doesn’t mean anything, because if somebody come and do the same thing to me, nothing will come out of it. I would want to see justice but the way how our country is set it is hard to bring justice and see the criminal convicted.”


Ian Gaynair

King leaves behind a three month old son and a six year old son.  Janelle King, his grieving sister, say the family hopes there will be no retaliation.


Janelle King

Janelle King, Sister of Deceased

“On behalf of my family I would hope there is no retaliation towards anything, because we don’t have knowledge of any beef that he has. He is a much loved person. If you notice on Facebook, everybody is pouring out love to my brother and it is much appreciated. For right now, all we are doing is just grieving.”


Reporting for News Five I am Paul Lopez.

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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