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Feb 4, 2008

Youth murdered in ambush style attack

Story PictureThere was another murder in Belize City over the weekend and as News Five’s Marion Ali reports, each killing leaves a trail of woe that extends far beyond the victim.

Rupert Munnings, Brother of Murder Victim
“I’ve seen it on TV many times to see mothers crying and you say to yourself this can’t hit home but when it hits home man, it hurts, it hurts. And it’s just the card that was dealt.”

The despondent tone of Rupert Munnings along with the shattered left front window on this black Cherokee tells the story of what happened to his younger brother, twenty-nine year old Jason Munnings on Saturday night. The B.W.S. bills deliveryman was apparently gunned down by a lone gunman who is believed to have followed him to the corner of Vernon and Mosul Streets where he unleashed a barrage of bullets at close range.

Munnings reversed into this chain-link fence in his attempt to escape the bullets. But it was too late and one of the bullets found its mark, penetrating his arm, then his body and exiting through his back.

We spoke to a nearby resident who wished to appear off camera. She said she heard the shots ring out sometime after ten Saturday night.

Resident, Mosul Street
“I mi di get ready fi go out by one lee thing by Putt Putt and I mi di fix wah young lady hair cause we mi going out together and then we just bout six or eight shots and then when I look some guys run eena the yard and then the vehicle reverse and just gone straight into the fence cause it look like he mi di try come back fi get help from deh guys but the vehicle gone over the other side.”

Marion Ali
“Get help from which guys?”

“The guys weh mi deh out by the corner.”

Those guys by the corner were the same ones who the resident said ran through the yard in their effort to seek cover. Munnings had reportedly left home on Zericote Street to visit his girlfriend, Janelle Tillett, who lives on Euphrates Avenue. She says Jason opted not to go out with her the night because he had to work early on Sunday. The news of his murder was the last thing she expected to hear.

Janelle Tillett, Girlfriend of Murder Victim
“Probably he knew that he was being followed. That is what I am assuming and the person approached him, shot at him a couple times and I know Jason is a very strong person, he thinks fast, so I guess the only way he felt he could get out of this situation was if he would reverse and try to dodge the bullets. I don’t know what was the reason why he went that way. I could only assume that he knew he was being followed.”

Marion Ali
“But who would want to follow him and hurt him?”

Janelle Tillett
“I have no idea. I spoke to him Saturday afternoon and I noticed that he has been carrying around in his pocket a knife. I said Jason what are you doing with this knife? He said that he’s using it for protection. I said Protection for what. He said he got in an altercation with some guy but he didn’t go into full details. This was Saturday he told me that but I don’t know when was the altercation or with who or anything. I don’t know anything, that was the last of the conversation.”

A stunned brother, Rupert Munnings, was at a loss at who would want his brother dead.

Rupert Munnings
“He’s not a person that has beef with people. He’s not that. He’s a wonderful individual and he was my best friend so it kinda just stunned me to know that somebody took his life that simple, I mean simple. I call this individual a coward because how can you just take somebody life in such a cold manner.”

Munnings died at the scene. Police are asking anyone with information to call the nearest police station or Crimestoppers.

Reporting for News Five Marion Ali.

The killing of Jason Munnings brings to six the number of murders so far for 2008.

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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