BELIZE CITY–An opportunistic murderer took advantage of a countrywide blackout that occurred last night and during the power outage, put an end to the life of a johnnycake vendor who was riddled with at least five bullets under the cover of darkness.
Police investigations suggest that at about 9:15 p.m., Gerald Palmer, 27, was walking through Grant’s Alley, which is located off Hyde’s Lane in north-side Belize City, when, upon reaching the corner of Grant’s Alley and Card’s Alley, he was accosted by a lone gunman, who first shot him in the leg and hand before blasting him with three more shots in the chest as Palmer made an attempt to flee for his life.
According to Teral Palmer, who is the twin brother of the murder victim, Gerald had been asleep at their home at #20 Barrack Road, but got up during the blackout and had just left home when he was ambushed by the gunman.
He said, “My brother was sleeping, but he got up when blackout gone. Then, he come outside and he mi di go through the alley. After that it was gunshots; two shots burst off first. After that, I heard the rest of shots went off, so I got up from my homeboy house to check on my brother. I couldn’t find my brother. I was all over looking for my brother. They dogged him dah the alleyway and right deh dehn give ahn the six shots, but out of the six, five of them touch him—one in his leg, three in his chest and one in his hand. That young boy [who did it]; he better pray because they know who they are. I will not forgive them. They hurt me and my mom.”
Palmer was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and he survived for roughly six hours before he succumbed to his injuries at around 2:24 a.m. today.
“He died at the hospital because of the main vein to the heart; one of the bullets ketch it and the doctor sew it up, but he mi only have a ten percent [chance] of living and they couldn’t do anything more for him”, his distraught twin brother told us.
Gerald, who was known to many in his neighborhood as “Bra”, was described as an industrious young man who got up every day, early in the morning in order to sell johnnycakes and coconut water around the city.
“He is here 14 years in Belize and not a day he get into problems. We don’t have any record at the [police] station, but God knows, and they know why they did it. All what Gerald do is sell coconut water and bake johnnycakes everyday – Monday to Monday. When he is not doing that, he is working construction and thing – that is the life he lives. He would sell here [at home] and he also goes out on his bike to sell. Everybody know us; we don’t deal with problems. All we do is hustle to take care of our family and my mom”, Teral explained.
Earlier this year, in July, the twin brothers’ younger brother, Tevin Palmer, 18, an alleged George Street affiliate, was remanded to prison for the attempted murder of Shane Fisher, a resident of Kelly Street, who was shot in the abdomen and rear while standing on Dean Street near the Kick Down Fence Chinese restaurant on July 4, so while the twin brothers might not have been troublemakers, the family believes that the murder of Gerald could have been some form of retaliation for that shooting.
An angered Teral Palmer said, “We are not trouble people, but we have a little brother; the media knows him and he is a killer too. That is life. So they came and they couldn’t ketch Harry because Harry deh dah jail right now, so they ketch ih shirt. So now they are happy, but I noh happy; I sad and I wish dehn remember weh dehn do. Whole ah Belize know we noh deal with problem; all we do dah hustle and take care of we family.”
While police said they have recovered a total of five 9 millimeter expended shells and one .380 expended shell from the scene, no arrests have been made so far.