General — 02 February 2012 — by Stacey Kelly
Shortly after 3:00 p.m. today, about 50 feet from the entrance of the Belize Health Care Partners Limited Hospital, located at the corner of Blue Marlin Boulevard and Chancellor Avenue in the Caribbean Shores area, Mark Lewis, 37, was shot about seven times in the upper chest area.
He succumbed to his injuries while receiving treatment at the hospital about 10 minutes later.
Mark’s murder is the third death to be suffered by his family in the last two years. In July, 2010, Marquis Mahler, 8, Mark’s nephew, was murdered by a gunman and a year later, in July, 2011, Maurice Usher, Marquis’ brother, lost his life after a vehicle collided with him while he was riding his motorcycle on the Western Highway. He was returning home from visiting his little brother’s grave on the anniversary of his death.
Mark’s sister, Bernadine Lewis, told us in an interview at the scene of the shooting, that Mark was “set-up” by someone who apparently wanted him dead. Bernadine explained to us that she has no idea why anyone would want to kill her brother.
We gathered from Bernadine, who was the only one of her family who remained composed at the scene of the homicide, that Mark was at the family residence on Fabers Road earlier this afternoon when he got a call from someone.
“Today was my day off from work and he was downstairs [at the family residence on Fabers Road prior to his death] telling my little nephews how to clean the back of the yard, and what they were going to do; that was the last I saw of my brother, when I looked through the window,” Bernadine told us.
According to her, “He got a phone call and then he and the young man came, that was one of my nieces’ boyfriends (she has many nieces), and they came over here and I don’t know what transpired after that.”
According to the additional information we gathered from sources, Mark and another person arrived at the hospital, parking in his black van at the left corner of the parking lot next to Chancellor Avenue.
Both men were outside the vehicle when a lone gunman riding a bicycle approached, firing over 7 shots in Mark’s direction. Mark was standing next to the passenger side of the vehicle when he was shot. He fell to the ground.
Mark’s friend was unhurt, our sources said. He was later taken in for questioning by police.
“I was on the Boulevard going home from picking up my daughter’s report card, when my sister-in-law, [Mark’s common-law wife and the mother of his 6 children], stopped me and said that they just shot my brother. I said ‘no’ and I jumped in the car with them, and we stopped down the street [from the hospital]; we ran from there to here.
“I ran inside to check on my brother, but he was already dead,” said Bernadine.
According to Bernadine, the police told her that a total of 7 expended shells were recovered from the scene. She was able to view her brother’s body, and she observed that, “he had shots like 7 or 15 in his chest; the bullets went through and through him”.
“This is a setup, definitely. Sure it is a setup, because my brother is not the type of person that interferes with other people. He may have some run-ins with the law for some little weed or something like that, and as far as I know, my brother doesn’t steal, he doesn’t rob, he does not kill people. He’s always at home,” Bernadine told us.
At the crime scene, one by one, family members arrived, wailing from as far as three blocks away after sighting the active crime scene and seeing Mark’s van still parked in the hospital’s parking lot. It was an emotional event outside the hospital, as Mark’s two oldest daughters had to be consoled by their mother, who herself was in need of comfort.
We asked Bernadine where she gets the strength during a time like this, especially with the frequency of death in her family over the last two years.
She replied, “Right now I am about the strongest one, I guess, because everybody else is falling apart, but someone has to stay strong for my mom and my dad, and the kids and the rest of the family. Now we just have to go and prepare for him, and give him a nice burial.”
In August, 2011, Mark was in the news after the Gang Suppression Unit, GSU, conducted a search at his home on Fabers Road. The search by the GSU was witnessed by the family and onlookers and at the conclusion of the search, Mark, along with another man, was arrested for a single .32 round of ammunition. He was charged with “kept firearm without a gun license.”