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Dec 5, 2022

Two Men from Southern Belize Gunned Down in Belize City

Two men from southern Belize who were sitting in a parked vehicle in front of a house on Electric Avenue in Belize City became the targets of a youth on a bicycle who opened fire on them, killing them instantly. The victims are Cleon Smith Junior of Placencia and Kendale Ramirez of Seine Bight Village, Stann Creek. It is the kind of crime that leaves a neighborhood in fear – a broad daylight attack on unsuspecting victims with a volley of gunshots interrupting the quiet Sunday afternoon. News Five’s Marion Ali has the details of the incident in the following report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Twenty-six-year-old Cleon Smith Junior, had just arrived in Belize City from Placencia where he lived and had just gone to see his three-year-old son, but he reportedly got into an argument with the child’s mother and was told he’d have to come back when the child was ready. It was when Smith returned and sat waiting in the parked vehicle that he and his friend Kendale Ramirez were shot dead. The Belize Police Department’s Communications Director, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood shared with reporters what they have gathered of the incident so far.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“We know that he left the area and was called back to that area and upon their arrival, they were ambushed in a red Kia S.U.V.”


Reports are that the gunman rode on a bicycle on to Electric Avenue, unbeknown to Smith and his friend, and opened fire as he passed them. Smith’s mom, Stephanie Bood and his sister, Cleona Smith, told News off camera today that the person who killed their loved one had to have been informed that he was outside waiting because he had only just arrived in the city and the vehicle he occupied was a rental.


Voices of: Stephanie Bood and Cleona Bood, Mother and Sister of Cleon Smith, Jr.

“My son mi deh pahn the passenger side. First he mi deh pahn the passenger side. When he gone back the second time he mi deh pahn the driver’s side. Soh mek sense outta nonsense Miss, from the time this gunman come from the passenger side, thinking that he deh pahn the passenger side. That da wa rental. Dat da nuh fi my bredda. Da vehicle tint up dark dark, nobody know he eena that.  Who mi know Cleon eena da vehicle? That’s why the young man get soh much shots eena ih head because ah weh deh feel that da my son deh pahn da side deh.”


This is a video clip of Kendale Ramirez that he shot just moments before he was slain in the same vehicle. Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, said the main suspects are the child’s mother and her current boyfriend and that police are going to interview them to determine if they had any involvement in the killings.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“The boyfriend, who apparently was present at the first instance, left and the baby’s daddy also left. From what I’m told, I’m not sure if it’s correct, the baby’s father was called back by the mother to go to the house and as he did so, he was ambushed and killed. Now I’m not going to make any assumption without any evidence to support it, but there is a need for us to interview the baby’s mother more in depth to see if it is that she may have something to do with the killing of those two individuals and likewise the current boyfriend that she has.”


The grieving mother and sister of Cleon Smith said that he traveled to Belize City to appear in the Magistrate’s Court today for a pending case.


Voice of: Cleona Smith

“The police department fail my bredda and give he wa charge of being a member of a gang. That da the reason why my bredda have to di up an down from Placencia to Belize. The only time he come da Belize da when time he fi goh da court. He fi mi goh da court this morning, that’s why my bredda come in yesterday.”


ASP Yearwood informed that the police have put in measures to discourage retaliation.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“We have officers that have been tasked with certain assignments and while this is not believed to be of a gang nature, we cannot rule out that people are related to Mr. Smith.”

The Smith and Bood families extend their sympathies to the family of Kendale Ramirez. Marion Ali 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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