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Jan 3, 2012

George St. child killed; Palm Island Club shooting

Aaron Pope

The last murder in 2011 took place on New Year’s Eve; the count stands at one hundred and twenty-five, five less than in the previous year. But there is little comfort in the Old Capital where a nine year old did not live to see 2012; he was hit when a hail of bullets penetrated the walls of his house as he slept, ending his short life. His sister was also injured in the early morning shooting on George Street. Two other violent incidents preceded the murder and speculation is rife that the gang truce is falling apart. Tonight Isani Cayetano reports on the spate of violence before the crack of dawn on New Year’s Eve.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A deadly pre-dawn assault on the residence of Michelle Myvette on New Year’s Eve has punctuated yet another violent year in recent history.  Around 4:30 on Saturday morning an armed intruder ascended this flight of stairs where he proceeded to breach the front door of the two-storey building.  Inside at the time of the break-in was a family of three including nine year old Aaron Pope and his sister Kadesha Saldano, deep in slumber.

Voice of: Michelle Myvette, Mother of Shooting Victims

“I did not hear but after checking the door, my daughter said she heard the door being kicked in, and the latch at the bottom, the bottom had been broken off.  So it was that the door was kicked in.”

Before Myvette could respond to the intrusion a heavy burst of gunfire was discharged in her living room.

Voice of: Michelle Myvette

“I got up hearing my hearing my daughter screaming “mom, mom I got shot” but I heard gunshots and I dropped and rolled under the bed and I pulled Aaron on top of me.”

Kadesha Saldano

The mother’s desperate attempt to shield her son from injury was unsuccessful.  The rounds perforated the sheetrock walls inside their dwelling.  One of several slugs tore through the left side of Aaron’s head, exiting near his right temple.

Voice of: Michelle Myvette

“I thought he got shot in his eye but it was not until we got to the hospital and he was given a CAT scan did I realized that he got shot in his head and the doctor said that it was by his temple.  It traveled from one side of his brain to the next side of his brain and that he was going to die.”

Aaron Myvette, by all means, was not the intended target of the assassin.  Like others before this home invasion preceded an indiscriminate bloodbath; a hail of bullets let loose in the direction of the presumed resting place of his objective.

Voice of: Michelle Myvette

“My daughter was in my son’s bedroom and I, and my son, was in my bedroom in my bed.  So I would say my son probably got shot [mistakenly] or it could have been me that [could] have gotten shot because we were in the same bed.”

Isani Cayetano

“There are two pockmarks on your wall.  Can you tell us how many gunshots were actually fired or was it only those two?”

Voice of: Michelle Myvette

“There were probably about five or more shots and there are shots in my bed, in the mattress [there are] two shots in there and against the wall in the room.”

Indeed, the question here is what could have precipitated such wanton display of aggression?  According to Myvette, herself a churchgoing parent, the family is not known for conflict with others in their George Street neighborhood.

Voice of: Michelle Myvette

“We don’t have any affiliation with anybody that is gang related so we don’t know and about that incident at Palm Island we don’t really know those people so we can’t say.  We don’t know why this happened.”

Isani Cayetano

Isani Cayetano

“What Myvette alluded to is a separate incident which took place less than half an hour earlier outside of the Palm Island Nightclub on the Northern Highway.  The venue has seen several such occurrences involving gun violence in 2011.”

Two men, Dale and Brandon Tillett, were shot during an altercation with thirty-two year old Renan Briceno while leaving the premises.

Dale& Brandon Tillett

The motive for the shooting remains sketchy; however, nineteen year old Dale Tillett, who is allegedly tied to the George Street Gang remains in critical condition at the KHMH after being hit in the back of the head by a nine millimeter round.  Brandon Tillett, who was acquitted of attempted murder in July of last year, was also shot in the left foot.

Renan Briceño

Moments later another salvo of rounds was fired across town near the entrance of Taylor’s Alley.  It is known that both groups are embroiled in a bitter rivalry, fortunately no one was injured.  Whether all three incidents are related remains to be determined; nonetheless, the loss of another minor to gun violence is heartbreaking.  Aaron Myvette had recently attended a children’s Christmas party where residents in the area are trying to erase the stigma of crime and violence that has befallen George Street.

Isani Cayetano

“My understanding as well is that he was recently part of the toy drive and the party that was held in this George Street community.”

Janet Moses

Janet Moses

“Yes he was.  He came back the following day with his mom and said thanks for the gift that we gave him and then I think he was going back and forth to church with his mom while he passed here yes.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The family of nine year old Aaron Pope was hit by another tragedy in June 2010. Aaron’s father, cyclist Elbert Pope, was killed behind the City Centre; that murder remains unresolved.

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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13 Responses for “George St. child killed; Palm Island Club shooting”

  1. Storm says:

    For this heinous murder, hang the killer and leave him there so the birds can feed on his carcass.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    Where are THE AUTHORITIES???
    What does the MAYOR of Belize City have to say about this. SHE IS SO USELESS!!!
    What do we pay her for????????????



  3. teacher says:

    What do I say to my students when we return to school on Monday and Aaron’s chair is empty???? Please authorities do something to save our children. This was a beautiful intelligent life that has ended before it was even started!!!!

  4. CEO says:

    The authorities need to step up yest but to place blame on them totally will never solve the problem! The problems are here first because of those who commit the crimes and second for the rest of us who support their actions by remaining silent!

    many families have family members who are involved with illegal activities and nothing is said or done and when things like this hapopen they want to blame everyone else but themselves!

  5. Earl Grey says:

    They will hear…”DEPART FROM ME…I KNOW YOU NOT!!!”

  6. MS SMITH says:

    this is really out of control,i just lost my cousin in the Santa Elena murder on Dec 23 lets see who gets justice its so sad i build my house two houses from my cousin and now i am thinking of selling it,I had all hope of coming home to peace but the way its going i might as well go to Afganistan.

  7. kendra Gordon Palacip says:

    Sad sad sad

  8. WakeUp Belize says:

    I am proud to be a Belizean. But when things like this happen I wonder if we would be better off under Guatemala. Serious. At least we would start to find bodies of gang leaders and gang members and thiefs and the other scums one by one. I, and I believe the society at large, wouldn’t miss them. Instead we have to miss and innocent child. It irritates me so much that Govenment is spending time and resource in these never to be rehabilated ****ers when child, the promise of tomorrow, are paying the price. For what, for Dean Barrow to claim he negotiated a truce. A truce with who? It means Dean Barrow is afraid of these criminals. Shameless that they are convening meetings because the truce is about to foil. ***k the truce. Relocate the elderly and the children from George street and just wipe the area, resurvey the land and give it other Belizeans. ***k human rights. They are not living what we are living.

  9. Elgin Martinez says:

    What are our Religious Leaders doing to address this crime situation?It’s sad that this kid got killed in his own house not bothering anyone.

  10. Di Illess Bouy says:

    it is time for the people of Belize realize it full potention each and every citenzen has a equal part to play it is time that we take a stand a make the Government to full potential and quit the game they sleep comfortable every night while the regular citizen sleep in fear as i learn whilst growing up from a little kid united we stand divided we fall so i say we are falling let come together and fight the distruction of our jewel lets whole the government responsible and lets not wait till it come knocking at our door to be concern remember united we stand divided we fall

  11. YC says:

    Mr. PM next time you have a gang truce meeting, give lunch to all gang members present and but dont forget to put some rat poison in it. You will see all of them disappear. Problem solved.

  12. Shakeem Samuels says:

    It is so sad that i just lost my best friend and cousin and he was a really intelligent student but he is at a better place and he is watching over us and i want to see him in HEAVEN playing those drum sets and he will rock them . IT is also sad too because he was sleeping and they just came in his house and just started shooting and it is so sad when you here how he died and how the bullet shot him in the temple so i just have to say R.I.P AARON MICHAEL MYVETTE POPE.

  13. 100% Belizean says:

    Shame! Shame! Shame! may the kid Rest in Peace and may God be with the person or persons who did this to him and his family, my condolences. Stay strong Shakeem and know that your cousin went straight to heaven, pray for the cowards who did this .

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