Crime — 30 May 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

He had dropped off 3 passengers in alley between Logwood and Banak Streets when he was shot

Police told Amandala today that they still have no leads into the shooting death of taxi driver Norman Stanley Thompson, 57, of corner West Street and Kut Avenue, Belize City, who died at about 1:30 Sunday morning, May 25, after he was ambushed and shot by gunmen after dropping off three passengers in the alley between Logwood Street and Banak Street, at the rear of the Habet and Habet compound on Cemetery Road.

A woman told Amandala that she heard two gunshots, and then a loud bang, as a car slammed into a chain link fence, breaking it and damaging a cargo container that was parked in the yard next to the fence.

When neighbors rushed to the area, Thompson was seen in his car, slumped over his steering wheel, with gunshots in the upper back: he was dead. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 3:10 that same Sunday morning.

Police said that Thompson went through the alley to drop off two men and a woman.

Police had arrived at the scene about 1:40 that Sunday morning, and had seen Thompson’s body in a green 4-door Geo Prism car with license plates D 7487, which had crashed into a fence. Thompson, they said, was sitting behind the steering wheel, and he had been shot twice in the right upper shoulder and once in the right side of the upper back.

The scene was processed and two 9mm Aquila expended shells were retrieved from the area.

According to police, Thompson had been driving his car in the alley beside La Popular Bakery off Logwood Street (the alley links Logwood Street and Banak Street), heading towards Banak Street, when he was ambushed by unknown person(s).

Sherrett Willoughby, his common-wife of over 10 years, said that he was a taxi driver on call, a job he has been doing since 2006. He went to pick up clients, but he was a strict, no-nonsense taxi driver who had to know someone well before going to pick them up.

If someone called him and he did not recognize the voice or didn’t know the person, he would first try to find out who it was, and if he was not satisfied, he wouldn’t go, she said.

Willoughby said that the account of what happened is not clear. She recalled that Thompson had often told her that he would not pick up individuals he did not know, because he would not allow anyone to set him up, and if they tried to rob him, he would drive the car into something so that they both died, because no one would rob him and live.

Willoughby wonders if this was the scenario when she heard that the car was driven into a fence and the container. She said that there are many questions that require answers, but she is adamant that Thompson had been set up, because he was very careful in his operations.

Moreover, she said, he was not robbed, because his wallet and money were on him when he was found. Only his cellphone was missing.

Willoughby said, in remembering him, that Thompson loved and took care of his children and family, and that he was a hard worker, and was very reliable.

Norman Thompson was a former employee of Belize Water Services up to 2002, and in 2003, he began to operate the taxicab, but only during the day. In 2006, he began to operate the taxi at night after dances at the clubs. However, his clients had to call him and make an appointment with him to pick them up at late hours.

The grieving wife said that he was her best friend and she loved him, and nobody will take that away from her. She will give him a burial fit for a king, she said.

Amandala saw the taxicab, and noted that the right back window had been shattered, and that the line of shooting was in the upper back of the driver. There was no blood or damage to the front passenger area, but the right side of the car was damaged due to the impact of hitting the fence and container.

Thompson’s sister, Wilma Thompson, told Amandala that less than two weeks ago, his grandniece and nephew had been knocked down by a hit-and-run driver while they were riding home on their bicycles after school. The children now need hundreds of dollars for operations to reconstruct their gum, and teeth that were broken in their mouth, money which they do not have. She had called on the driver who knocked them down to come forward and help with the expenses, because the children badly need the operations.

Stanley Norman Thompson is survived by his mother, Norma Thompson; wife, Sherrett; sister, Wilma; 4 children — Alleeyah, Shakeem, Shenayah and Dezada; 4 brothers; 3 grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.

The funeral is tentatively set for next Tuesday.

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