by Kristen Ku
LADYVILLE, Belize District, Mon. Feb. 5, 2024
A mechanic from Belize City, Jarim Armstrong, 35, was the victim of a deadly shooting that occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 4, near the Los Lagos junction, Mile 12 on the Philip Goldson Highway.
The Belize Police Department reported that upon arrival at the scene, they discovered Armstrong suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was swiftly transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival.
Armstrong, reportedly originally from the Cayo District but residing on Antelope Street in Belize City at the time of the incident, was attacked while working on a black Ford F-150 pickup truck under a shed in the village. Eyewitnesses report that two assailants, dressed in white, approached him and another individual known as “Pato” before opening fire.
“Information is that Armstrong was working on a vehicle at the address along with another person when two male persons came to the area with firearms and fired several shots towards their direction which caused fatal injuries,” reported police.
The assailants, believed to be from Belize City, allegedly fired as many as ten shots at the men before fleeing the scene. “Pato”, luckily managed to escape without harm.
This is the third murder to have occurred in the rural parts of the country over the past week, and in an interview, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, expressed deep concern over this recent surge in murders in an area which traditionally sees fewer incidents compared to Belize City.
“It’s very disturbing, I must say. We’re trying our best to contain the [Belize] city because we know that the city would normally account for at least 60% to 70% of the country’s annual murder count, and now we’re seeing that the rural areas are hitting us in such a way that we would certainly have to look to see what we can do to address it,” he told reporters.
He asserts this trend to be a result of alcohol-fueled altercations and personal disputes, which he says are difficult crimes for the police to prevent.
“How do we stop that? I don’t know, because we cannot tell people they cannot drink at home. We cannot tell people they cannot go to a bar or a night club and drink. It’s a matter of society on a whole,” he said.
The police have not yet established a motive for the killing, as Armstrong is not known to have had any previous encounters with the law. Police are seeking two suspects in relation to this murder.