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May 3, 2022

Tariq Ciego is Gunned down at M.C.C. Grounds after Park Fest

Tariq Ciego

This weekend in Belize City, hundreds of residents descended on Digi Park for the resumption of Park Fest, an annual festivity showcasing Belizean musicians.  By all accounts, the event was well attended and the after party that followed at the Princess Poolside was equally crowded. But, somehow, amid the loud music and dance, a young man was shot and killed across the street, inside the parking lot at M.C.C. Grounds. It is not clear what precipitated the murder. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

When twenty-three-year-old Tariq Ciego left for Digi Park on Sunday, his loved ones never imagined that it would be the last time that they’d see him alive. He was accompanied by a group of friends, no more than ten, yet somehow they would lose sight of him in the swarm of people at the Park Fest and it’s after party.


Voice of: Friend of Deceased

“We just gaan out, gaan gaan enjoy fu we self, next minute he disappear. [We] start look fi he and we just find di man dead.”


King, as he was otherwise known, laid motionless inside the parking lot at M.C.C. Grounds.  He had been shot at least two times.


Isani Cayetano

“When you guys discovered him, what exactly did you see?”


Friend of Deceased

“I sih he pan di ground, done dead with wahn two gunshot wounds. We noh yer no shot, nothing, due to the music and weh part we mi deh, check. But dehn got other officers weh mi deh outside but according to weh dehn di seh, dehn no yer no shot but we noh know how dehn noh yer no shot and dehn mi deh outside pan di street side by di side ah di gate ah di spot.”


Police responded to that location shortly after four a.m. Their investigation revealed that Ciego was walking towards his vehicle around 2:45 a.m. when someone approached him and inflicted the deadly injuries.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“Initial investigation revealed that Tariq left from an event that was happening at the Princess Poolside sometime around 2:30 and a lone gunman opened fire on him, fatally injuring him.  It was not until that event was over and other patrons were going for their vehicle that they found his body. The time between when it’s alleged that he left that concert and when his body was found is a wide gap when it comes to crime and investigators are trying to piece together leads that they believe could help them in identifying a suspect.”


Those closest to him are still trying to come to terms with what transpired in the early hours of Monday.  Ciego’s friend, who spoke with News Five off camera, said that he was easygoing and never got in the way of anyone.


Voice of: Friend of Deceased

“I just di try tek it easy. Cyant really do nothing.”


Isani Cayetano

“Why would anybody want to kill him, especially at a location like that where, from my understanding, a lot of people were out at the Park Fest on Sunday?”


Friend of Deceased

“Well that, I noh really know because da noh like we da people weh trouble anybody.  We noh trouble nobody, we stay to fu we self. He play football and play basketball.”


For now, investigators are stumped because of the time that elapsed between the deadly shooting and the discovery of Ciego’s lifeless body. According to Assistant Superintendent Fitzroy Yearwood, witnesses aren’t forthcoming.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“We are at a loss for right now. We know that during the daytime, you can always see security visibly in a little booth in that parking lot. But I must say from personal experience that at night the security tends to [be] lax. So we would have to do a lot of investigating for this one. We have a lot of different angles that we are looking at because we wouldn’t know if there was any witness at the time. The moment that it took almost two hours for him to be found, we know that even if a witness doesn’t want to be identified, they would have called that in.”


Isani Cayetano 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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