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Jul 28, 2008

Three murders in Belize City over the weekend

Story PictureThe incessant number of murders by gunfire has reached a new high with four more fatal killings over one weekend alone—three of them in Belize City! The first murder occurred around seven-thirty on Friday night at the corner of Partridge and Vernon Streets in Belize City as twenty-four year old Leon Sutherland rode to his home on Marigold Lane. Sutherland was shot twice by one of three youths riding behind him. He was struck once in the back of the head and in the chest. This fatal shooting, like the others, has left the family of the victim with many unanswered questions and the Police Department to solve the mystery behind this crime as it attempts to cope with the spate of killings and other crimes. We begin this evening’s newscast with an account of Sutherland’s brutal slaying.

Assistant Supt. Julio Valdez, O.C., C.I.B., Eastern Division
“While he was riding his bicycle on Vernon Street from the junction with Central American Boulevard, two or three persons approached him and one of them fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries to him. That matter is undergoing intense investigations. Presently, we have two people in custody. Just this morning one person handed himself in along with his attorney for questioning this morning. So we have three persons in custody in dealing with that matter, who we believe might be involved in this shooting incident.”

Shian Ireland, Girlfriend, Leon Sutherland
“I ask, I seh Jenna how Leon di tek so long and I hungry. Leon seh ih gwein buy bun right up di street. She seh ih wah come directly ih noh wah tek long. I tell ah well ten minutes dah long fi me. Dat dah weh I tell ah and den I just got dis yoh know—how he tek so long? I walk from fi he door dah fi dehn house to right pan di lee bridge by di front ah di street and I di look down di street, I seh but Leon tek long and I hungry. Fifteen minutes after, Leon bredda come tell me. I si Leon bredda brakes di vehicle under speed, brakes it hard, bang pan di top ah ih vehicle and ih walk close to me. And ih grab me by di end ah my hair and ih seh Shian, Leon dead dehn chance my lee bredda.”

As police say, three people are in their custody for Sutherland’s murder.

Police are still struggling to solve the second weekend murder which claimed the life of twenty-nine year old Karim Harris. Harris was shot six times just a couple minutes away from his Meighan Street home. His mother, Geraldine Harris, heard the shots that took the life of her youngest child.

Geraldine Harris, Mother of Karim Harris
“I get up about nearly one-thirty, gwein fi two and as I get up I just hear three shots; bam, bam, bam one afta di other. Afta dat I noh hear nothing else till di police come and tell mi bout it.”

Marion Ali
“So he just left home and said he’d go out and come back?”

Geraldine Harris
“Yes, he left home after five Saturday evening. Ih neva did come home.”

Marion Ali
“He was on his way back home though?”

Geraldine Harris
“Yes, back home when deh kill ah. But he went to a wake noh and coming back. I just know about dat dis aftanoon.”

Assistant Supt. Julio Valdez
“While Karim Harris was heading home on Lucky Wade Street when a gold in colour vehicle passed and fired some six shots at him causing the said injuries. That matter is also under investigation.”

Supt. Edward Broaster, Head, C.Y.D.P.
“We’re also investigating reports of alleged instigating of violence by some influential persons in the community and the police will investigate that thoroughly and if we find that to be true we will see how we can deal with that situation applying the law in that aspect. The steering committee of the conscious Youth Development Program come Monday will be meeting with different groups of young persons in Belize city to do an assessment of needs, fact finding mission whereby they will be allowing young persons to tell them or inform them as to how best the Conscious Youth Development Program and, by extension, the government can assist them in creating jobs.”

While police did not commit to who is inciting the recent gun violence, Broaster did speculate that certain businesspersons may be behind the recent crimes.

The third victim appears to have lost his life over his own bicycle. Twenty-two year old Abel Thomas had just left his friend, Jose Mena, at his house on Iguana Street and was heading to his home on Amara Avenue early Sunday morning when a gunman held him up for his bike. But Thomas would put up a fight and it was this struggle that ended his life. His friend tried to help him, but it was too late. Police say the killings have once again placed them on high alert.

Assistant Supt. Julio Valdez
“The friend heard that Abel was shouting for help, he proceeded there when he saw a person struggling with Thomas. Once he saw them reach on him, there were two of them reaching close to him. One of them ran away and he set chase on the other person. Going, chasing the other person, he heard a shot going off. He returned back to where his friend Thomas was and on reaching back he saw the person standing over Abel Thomas with a firearm. The gun was pointed towards his direction also where he ran away because he was afraid.”

Voice of friend
“I hear Abel voice call me but I think somebody beat ah up. So went on the street when I si dah two ah dehn bally di beat Abel. So I ketch my bicycle and I gwein fi give ah wah lee hand because he is my friend. When I stay inna di place one man tek Abel bicycle and run. So I gwein fi ketch di bicycle fi Abel and Abel and di next bwai di fight. When I si dat I can’t ketch di man I come back again. Before, close to Dolphin Street I hear di gun, bam. When I hear di gun di man punch fi me but we land. I mi di run to so he ketch my bike and run. I gwein tek Abel fi me.”

Marion Ali
“He grabbed your bike?”

Voice of Friend
“Yeah, I hail Abel. I hail ah Abel, wake up Abel because I neva know dah weh part ih shot. So I hail Abel and Abel noh ansa mi. Afta dat di police di come quick. Di police di come and di police ask me who is di man. I tell ah I noh know, I neva si because everything happen inna quick time. I think one minute or less.”

Marion Ali
“Why you think they killed him? You think they wanted his bike or somebody had a problem?”

Voice of Friend
“Yes, because di man tek di bike and two ah dehn mi want haul di bike. Yeah, it’s for the bicycle.”

Sr. Supt. David Henderson, O.C., Eastern Division
“There seems to be a number of criminal activity occurring within the city. Since then I have met with all branches to the division; we have unified all branches; we have started operations where the C.I.B., the C.I.U., A.D.U., F.P.U. and even C.Y.D.P. will be mounting operations throughout the city. The C.Y.D.P. will be dealing with the intervention part of it while the C.I.B, C.I.U. will be dealing with both investigations and operational aspects. We have also started operation with all the branches including the F.P.U. form Belmopan and we have put aside a team along with B.D.F. which will be doing operation to support the other branches. I have since went down on the ground and really checked most of the areas.”

No one has yet been arrested for the murder of Abel Thomas.

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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1 Response for “Three murders in Belize City over the weekend”

  1. Sheath says:

    Institute the death penalty immediately!

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