A 14-year-old Standard 6 student is dead tonight, his body in the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was shot to death yesterday evening sometime around 6:10 while playing in a yard on Banak Street.
As many as 25 shots shattered the silence, and today police collected 24 expended shells from the area. Mortally wounded at the end of the shooting was Queen’s Square Anglican student Randy Conorquie, 14, shot seven times in the body.
A post-mortem examination conducted late this afternoon has confirmed that he died from a punctured lung, while on the operating table, said relatives with whom we spoke tonight.
The primary school student is said to have been an innocent victim who was hit by a barrage of bullets that were sprayed into the yard in which he was playing.
The alleged targets, we understand from street sources, were two of Belize’s most notorious criminals.
At a press conference earlier this year, police said that “gangs” did not exist anymore, but the word on the street is that there is an ongoing war between different gangs in the city, and the war will continue until certain people have been wiped out.
Last night the death of Randy Conorquie, the third child of six siblings, caused his 8-month pregnant mother, Cynthia Conorquie, 35, to be rushed to the KHMH by relatives. Doctors have placed her under observation, fearing that she may give birth prematurely.
Randy Conorquie had just returned home from school at about 4:00 p.m. He had gone to a friend’s home, which he usually visits to play games, said relatives.
At the time of the shooting, relatives said, Randy was fixing a bicycle in the yard.
Police say the boy’s alleged shooter, Leonard Myers, who was shot in the foot by police on Cemetery Road, is under guard at the KHMH.
Police were on patrol in the area when the Myers shooting occurred. The lawmen say that Myers practically ran into them with a mask in his hand and a gun which later turned out to be a 9mm pistol.
The police claimed he is the alleged shooter, but Myers, who spoke with Amandala via telephone late this evening, told us that he did not shoot the boy. He claimed that it was the men who came after him trying to kill him who shot the teenager.
This is what police said occurred, “Sometime around 6:00 p.m., yesterday, they responded to shots being fired in the area of Vernon Street, near Matron Roberts Health Center. Upon their arrival they found 14-year- old Randy Conorquie suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest and leg. At the same time, a police vehicle traveling along Cemetery Road observed a male person running with a firearm in his hand. Police attempted to intercept said individual, but instead of stopping, said suspect opened fire upon the police. Police then returned fire and hit the suspect in the left ankle. Said suspect then ran through Fuller’s Alley and jumped over a fence, where he was found in a bushy area. Police recovered from the scene where the suspect was, one 9mm pistol with one live round, and a black ski mask.”
While this is the police’s version, Myers said that he was riding a bicycle on Magazine Road, and when he reached the intersection with Banak Street a vehicle pulled up behind him and two men, whom he recognized, shouted at him.
The men were two of his enemies, two of Belize’s most notorious criminals, and according to Myers the men then began firing at him.
Myers claimed that that was when he dropped his bicycle and ran into Banak Street and into an open lot, trying to hide.
The lot Myers ran into is located next to the house where the deceased Conorquie was playing with some other friends. When he ran through the open lot, he emerged on Cemetery Road, which was where police spotted him.
While the other friends in the yard ducked and ran, Randy, who was caught off-guard, did not run in time, said a neighbor.
Another neighbor we spoke to said that there were three men who approached the yard from off Magazine Road and came into Banak Street. They began shooting into the yard from three different directions.
The men were looking for two men who were believed to be hiding in the same yard Conorquie was.
One of the three men who are believed to have opened fire was identified as Leonard Myers, who reportedly took off his mask after the shooting, said police.
The other two men were seen running up Banak Street, and escaped through Lakeview Street.
Myers further alleged that after running for a while, he stopped to rest. But when he looked behind him, a man was chasing him and the man then fired three shots at him. Fearing for his life, he claimed, he then pulled out a .38 gun he had on him and fired three shots back at the man.
The man he had fired at, he later learned, was a police officer, claimed Meyers. At that time, he said, he was not aware that the man was a policeman because he had not identified himself.
Leonard Myers is under police guard at the KHMH tonight.
Randy Conorquie’s mother celebrated her 35th birthday today, a very sad birthday for her. She is planning funeral services for Randy Conorquie, tentatively scheduled for Monday, December 12.