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Apr 7, 2008

Two injured in Municipal airstrip hold-up

Story PictureGuns and airplanes are not a good combination but this morning shots rang out at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. When the smoke cleared two men lay wounded and two more were on the run. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports from the scene.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
Just after nine this morning Atlantic Bank employees, twenty year old Jermaine Tillett and thirty-one year old Eugene Smith, drove onto the parking lot of the Maya Island Air in this micro van for a routine drop off of parcels, when they were ambushed by two gun toting robbers.

Bystander #1(woman)
“I just hear bow and I seh pop shot? Weh pop shot di do back this areas? And as I done seh pop shot, I just hear bow, bow after that.”

Bystander #2 (man)
“It was basically really brief, quick and of course, I have to seh, really terrifying.”

Afraid for their lives, the witnesses did not want to appear on camera.

Bystander #2
“Wah car came up behind and the area that I was at, I didn’t think nothing of it until the guys came out with the guns and masked and then I realised, you know what, do dah noh no TV, this dah noh no movie, this dah the real thing di happen and I just leave.”

Kendra Griffith
“Did you hear anything after you left?”

Bystander #2
“Yeah, little after that I hear like four or five shots.”

Bystander #1
“It touch mi heart because I see the young man pan the ground di creep fi ih life, just di crawl eena the ground and dah somebody who I know very good and see on a daily basis. And it touch mi heart fi know that some things like that happen.”

Both Smith and Tillett received gunshot wounds to the leg and were taken to the K.H.M.H. They are listed in stable condition. Tillett was shot through the side window of the vehicle.

Witness #2 (man)
“Weh really disturb me dah the guys them weh do the robbery, they neva even ask questions, they just shoot the guys them and took whatever they mi want take from there and then just leave.”

Supt. Aaron Guzman, Officer Commanding C.I.B.
“As far as we found out, earlier, there was a bag that was taken, but it only had in documents, no monies were taken. As far as I know, the policy of the airlines in Belize, Maya and Tropic are not to take cash, so you cannot send cash via mail with them as far as I know, for security reasons and obviously banking institutions know that you don’t do business like that by sending cash on a flight. So common sense would tell you that no cash would have been placed through the mail system.”

According to Assistant Superintendent of Police Aaron Guzman, they are currently looking for a car with license plate number 23444.

Aaron Guzman
“We are asking the public to assist us in trying to find a white Honda Accord. At this stage we know that that this vehicle left the scene. I am not going to say that vehicle was definitely involved, I am saying it is a vehicle of interest. That is a vehicle that we’d like to speak to the occupants of that vehicle.”

Kendra Griffith
“We are hearing reports that you all intercepted a vehicle by the roundabout this morning.”

Aaron Guzman
“When the call was made to the 911 hotline, we, of course, passed on the info to the police mobile that were out and yes a vehicle was searched among other vehicles. There were several vehicles searched and we did search a vehicle in that area and we are following up with that investigation.”

During those searches, police detained one man, Giovanni Lauriano, as a person of interest. From the scene, the authorities recovered three, nine millimetre shells and two slugs.

Witness #1
“Ih noh mek no sense that you work so hard for your honest living and the crazy guys out deh, they just plan yoh, they look and they mark yuh everyday and you noh know who is gonna be that person di day.”

Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

According to Maya Island Air, they are planning to introduce new security measures in the wake of the robbery.

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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