Headline — 15 March 2016 — by Adele Ramos
Taxi ride turns deadly

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 14, 2016–One woman has been killed and two other women and a man were seriously injured after a cold-blooded killer fired into the taxicab in which they were travelling at about 4:10 Sunday morning on Fabers Road.

Tanika Lemoth, 34, of Tibruce Street, was shot in the lower back and in her upper chest, and was declared dead on the scene.

Police, at a press brief held this afternoon at the Racoon Street Police Station, said that at 4:10 yesterday morning Jaime Villanueva, 31, a cab driver, was driving his Toyota Camry on Fabers Road, heading towards Central American Boulevard and had three female passengers with him.

Three shot, 1 dead. One woman’s two eyes injured when taxi slammed into drain

Suddenly, a vehicle approached Villanueva from behind, in front of St. John Vianney Church on Fabers Road, and the occupant(s) fired several shots into the cab from the rear, hitting him and his passengers.

When police arrived at the scene about 10 minutes later, they saw Villanueva lying in the middle of the street, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper back.

Riding in the front passenger seat of the cab was Hanifa Flowers, 34, a housekeeper of Belize City, and she had suffered injuries to both eyes when the car, a 4-door Toyota Camry, slammed into the concrete fence in front of St. John Vianney Church after Villanueva lost control after being shot.

Doris Gilharry, 33, a supervisor of Belize City, had been shot in the left side of the chest, and Tanika Lemoth, 34, of Tibruce Street, found lying on the back seat of the cab, had been shot in the right upper chest and lower back.

All of the occupants of the taxi were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Lemoth’s body was deposited at the morgue, where it will undergo a mandatory autopsy to certify the cause of her death. Flowers, Gilharry and Villanueva, on the other hand, were admitted to the hospital in a serious but stable condition. This afternoon, Amandala was told that Villanueva had been treated and released from the KHMH.

Amandala saw that the taxi in which the victims had been traveling had 7 bullet holes on the trunk and two shots had exited through the lower section of the driver’s side of the windshield. The back windshield was shattered, and the right front portion of the car was damaged. The right front wheel also appeared to have been broken.

Police said that the scene had been processed and (3) .9mm expended shells had been retrieved from the scene.

According to police, three men, well-known to police, have been detained for questioning, but the motive for the attack is not yet known.

At a press brief, police said that the attack occurred just as the taxi slowed down to roll over the speed bump on the road in front of St John Vianney Church.

Williams said that this is the first murder to occur in four months in Belize City Precinct 1.

Many condolences have been posted by Lemott’s friends, as well as by other sympathizers. One friend wrote that her heart was “very heavy for the loss of Tanika Lemott, who was truly a special human being, gentle and humble”. “You were taken too soon, baby girl. These monsters that did this to you and your family are going to suffer, who are you to think that you can take somebody life, how evil can you be, you will suffer for this. My heart goes out to the family. Sleep now, Angel, sleep,” she further commented.

Another friend wrote: “Sleep on, beautiful. Your life was cut short. This is the saddest thing ever. You will always be in my heart. At least I got to chat with u a couple times. Rest in Paradise, Tann. I find myself crying for you and your children.”

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