Headline — 22 May 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
9 shot, 2 dead, in another violent weekend

BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 20, 2019– The ongoing gun violence in the city and in Teakettle, in the Cayo District, which began on Friday evening, resulted in 9 persons being shot, which resulted in 2 deaths.

Dead are Tyrick Francis 20, of Gungulung, Belize City, and Clifford Matute, 35, a carpenter of Teakettle. The seven injured are Ronald Michael 30, of Lovely Lane, Belize City, who was shot in the arm; Raymond John Fuller, 21, of North Creek Road, Belize City, who was shot in the body; an 11-year-old student, Kyrone Green, of Croton Street , Belize City, who was shot in the face and head; William Nicodemus Lewis, 18, a laborer of Peter Ashton Street, Belama Phase 2, Belize City; Raheem Staine, 23, a fisherman of  Bradley Crescent, Belama Phase 2, Belize City, who both were shot in the body; Jamal Palacio 21, of Raccoon Street Extension; and Justine Stewart, 23, of Belmopan —both of whom were shot in the body.

The violence began at about 12:30 Friday morning. Reliable information to us is that Clifford Matute was in his house in Teakettle when a man entered the yard, armed with a shotgun, and called out to him.

When Matute came out to see him, the man fired 3 times at Matute, who was hit in the side of the head, chest and abdomen. Matute reportedly tried to escape by running to the back of the house, but the gunman followed him and shot him to death.

The killer then ran out of the yard, and got on a motorcycle that was being driven by another man and they both drove away. So far, no one has been arrested for Matute’s murder.

A neighbor said that he was in his house shortly after midnight when he heard three gunshots coming from the direction of his friend’s house, and when he got up, he saw a man running out of the area. The fleeing man got on a motorcycle and drove away.

The neighbour told police that he went to Matute’s house with a flashlight and saw him lying on the ground in pools of his blood. He had been shot in the head and side. Police were called, and they took him away.

The neighbour said that Matute was easy-going and friendly and did not have conflicts with anyone in the area.

During the regular police press brief held this afternoon at the Raccoon Street Police Station, ACP Joseph Myvett said that the motive for the shooting was not yet unknown. He said that police are looking for two suspects. Matute was shot from a distance of about 20 feet, said Myvett, and police found two shotgun cartridge shells on the scene.

At about 6:30 that same Friday evening, 18 hours after Matute was shot and killed in Teakettle, Raymond John Fuller was making purchases in a supermarket located on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. He was standing by the door of the store and Kyrone Green was standing by the counter when a man on a bicycle came up and fired several shots at Fuller.

As a result, Fuller was struck and Green, 11, was also struck, in his cheek. The shooter then rode away. Fuller and Green were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are both admitted in a serious but stable condition.

Green’s mother said that the bullet went into his cheek and damaged his spine, and as a result, he is now paralyzed from his neck down. He was put into an induced coma, but doctors have taken him out of the coma to see how he is responding, but they are not yet satisfied with his response.

They believe that some clots are affecting his brain, and they need to administer further treatment. However, his mother said that he is a fighter, and she is confident that he will pull through.

Today, a relative of his called his name, and he responded, “Hallelujah”.  His mother said that that response gives her hope, and she will continue to pray for him.

His mother said that she had just sent him to the store to make a quick purchase, when shortly after, she heard gunshots coming from the store, and shortly after a man known to her came and told her that her son had been shot. She has viewed the footage from the cameras mounted in the area and saw what happened.

The motive for the gun attack on Fuller that resulted in the paralysis of  little Green  is believed to be tied to on-going retaliation in the area after a man was shot and killed in the North Creek area last month, which had nothing to do with Green.

ASP Alejandro Cowo said, however, that this shooting may be connected. The shooter has not been found. Fuller has since been declared to be in a stable condition, while Kyrone Green remains in a critical condition.                                                                                                                                                                                                                At 10:30 Friday night, 4 hours after the violent attack at the superstore on the Central American Boulevard in which Kyrone Green and Raymond John Fuller were shot, William Nicodemus Lewis, 18, and Raheem Staine, 23, were socializing in front of Lewis’ house in Belama with others who were under the house, when a man came up and fired at Lewis and Staine.

Everyone scrambled for cover and Staine and Lewis ran to avoid the danger, but the gunman ran after them, shooting at them as they tried to escape, and they were struck multiple times. The shooter then escaped.

Police found about 10 expended cases in the area of the shooting.

Staine was treated and released that Saturday night, while Lewis was released yesterday after he was treated.

ASP Alejandro Cowo said that the shooting was due to ongoing rivalries between the two feuding groups in the area. So far, no one has been arrested.

At about 9:00 Saturday night, 24 hours after Staine and Lewis were shot, Tyrick Francis was talking with a friend on Fabers Road Extension, in front of  a bushy lot that has a shortcut that runs through it from the George Price Highway to Fabers Road, when a man came out of the bushes and fired several shots at him.

Francis was struck in the head, chest and arm. He was taken by police to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

A video posted on social media shows Francis lying on the road after he was shot.

Police said that the motive for Francis’ shooting is tied to ongoing rivalries between feuding groups in the area.

After the death of her eldest son, Dean Nemhard, Jr., who was killed in July last year, Tifanie Francis vowed that she would take care of her second son, Tyrick, and kept him home. However, on Saturday night, reliable information to us is that a relative of his called him to come to Fabers Road for something, believed to be money.

Tyrick left home for the area, which was not far from their house, and when he arrived there, his killer was lay-waiting him. His family said that they were not aware that he had been killed until they began to get calls from relatives telling them that Tyrick was dead. They went to the hospital, and that was when his death became a reality.

ASP Alejandro Cowo said that so far, no one has been arrested.

In speaking to KREM Radio, Tyrick’s devastated mother said that she was not told officially by police that her son had been killed. People called and told her, and that was when she went to the hospital. She said that police should have informed her. She said that she did what she could to protect him.

Ronald Michael, a laborer of Lovely Lane, was shot at about 3:00 yesterday morning while driving on Baymen Avenue with his common-law-wife. An unknown gunman who was hiding in a bushy lot came out and fired at him, hitting him in his arm, and the shooter escaped.

Michael was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and later released.

ASP Alejandro Cowo said that the motive for the shooting was due to ongoing rivalries in the area, and that they are working to identify the shooter.

Then at about 10:00 last night, Jamal Palacio and Justin Stewart were socializing at Palacio’s house on Raccoon Street Extension when two men drove up on a motorcycle and one of them fired at Palacio and Stewart.

The two men were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they were admitted.

Palacio was treated and released and Staine was released today. Police say that no one has been arrested.

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