BELIZE CITY–The streets are tense, with fears of gang retaliation, after an attempt earlier today to gun down well-known George Street figure, Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham, 48, who is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital fighting for his life.
Abraham suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his neck and arm, after he was shot at about 10:00 this morning by a masked gunman in the turf of the rival Ghost Town Crips gang, in front of the tire shop on Lakeview Street, a couple blocks away from where he spent his childhood and teenage years.
An eyewitness told Amandala that at about 10:00 this morning, Abraham drove up, in front of the tire shop, located at the corner of Banak Street and Lakeview Street and turned off his car’s engine and inquired about some used tires in the yard of the tire shop.
A worker reported that Abraham did not come out of the vehicle and that he, Abraham, was sitting in the driver’s seat as the worker talked with him through the window about the tires, when a man came running from Banak Street into Lakeview Street, and without provocation fired about two shots into the vehicle, hitting Abraham through the window of the passenger side, which was open.
The masked gunman then ran back down Lakeview Street and disappeared in the Banak Street area.
The tire shop worker said that he ran into the yard and checked himself to see if he had been shot, but he was unhurt.
The worker said that Abraham, who had been shot in his neck and shoulder, was still conscious. The worker tried to start the vehicle to drive him to the hospital, but a man from the area came to help him and placed Abraham on the passenger’s seat.
He quickly drove him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for emergency treatment.
The gunman, short in stature, wore a hood over his head and his face was covered with a cloth, said the witness.
Many believe that the shooting is due to the ongoing gang rivalry between the George Street and Ghost Town gangs, who continue to be at war despite efforts by police to put a stop to the unending sequence of retaliatory shootings in Belize City through various neighborhood initiatives and heightened police presence in high-crime areas.
There were actually some police officers in the Banak Street area at the time of the shooting, and this led to the speedy detention of a man suspected to be the shooter.
KREM News reported that just before their 6 p.m. newscast, they spoke to Police Public Relations Officer for Eastern Division, Douglas Hyde, who said that investigations so far point to an altercation of some kind between Zimbab and an individual which occurred in Belmopan on Tuesday. Of note is that at the government’s massive rally outside Tuesday’s House meeting in Belmopan were several rival street personalities. Police say they are waiting to speak to Zimbab in order to record a statement.
Archival records show that this is not the first attempt on Abraham’s life. He was shot back in February of 2006 as he stood at the entrance of an alley in the vicinity of Banak Street in Belize City. That’s not too far from where he was shot today. In that incident he was injured along with 2 other men. And back in August 2011, Abraham and others of the George Street area faced off with elements of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), whom they accused of human rights abuses.
Abraham had been very vocal in expressing his discontent, and he was arrested and charged with using obscene language. However, when he was taken to court, the charge was withdrawn, after the prosecution closed its case.
His attorney, Kareem Musa, submitted that Abraham did not have a case to answer because he had not been cautioned by the police when he was detained. He was released from the court a free man.
Carlos Abraham is the father of Joshua Abraham, 9, who was fatally shot on Victoria Street, Belize City, 3 years ago, on Independence Day, September 21, 2011.