At around 12:00 a.m. this past Saturday, October 19, 2013, two shots were heard in the vicinity of Hydes Lane, at its junction with New Road, which happens to be just one block away from the Queen Street Police Station.
Moments later, 28-year old Deon Yorke, better known as “Diddy”, of #13 Pickstock Street, Belize City, was seen lying on the ground, in the middle of the intersection, apparently dead.
Shortly after, police arrived at the scene and saw Yorke suffering from two gunshot wounds, which had been inflicted by an unknown assailant. Police immediately took the victim to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where, unfortunately, he died while receiving treatment for his injuries.
Frantic and distressing screams and shrieks echoed into the night as Yorke’s neighbors and relatives learned of his death.
Today, Amandala spoke with Deon’s sister, Lisa Yorke, who told us that her brother was at a popular local bar and club, located at the foot of the Swing Bridge, when he got involved in an altercation with another patron. She said that it was while her brother was walking back home that he was ambushed by a gunman on a bicycle.
She said that the last time she spoke to her older brother was earlier that night when he was telling her about $10 that she owed him. The last time she saw her brother alive, said Lisa, was when he stepped out of the house and told his mother that he would be going for a walk.
Lisa Yorke said that, before going, her brother had also told them to leave some food for him for when he returned home later that night. Sadly, he never managed to return home to eat the food.
She also told us that she heard the shots that killed her brother, since the incident occurred only about one block away, and they were shocked to find out that it was “Diddy” who was shot. Yorke explained that she will miss Deon, mainly because he always gave her good advice, and although he did not have a steady job, he stayed out of trouble.
Lafaye Lewis, Deon’s common-law wife, said that she found out about the incident about 5 minutes afterwards, as she was going to the store. She said that she heard the two gunshots while she was with a friend. She then asked her friend if she had also heard the shots, and her friend replied by asking her the same thing.
Lewis said that she then returned to where she was staying with some other friends.
A while later, she said, a young woman came and told her that it was her boyfriend who had been shot, but when she went to the scene, they had already taken him to the hospital in a police mobile unit.
She said that when she got to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, she still was not able to see him because he was in the operating theatre, trying to cling to life.
Minutes after, she learned that he had died, apparently because he had lost a lot of blood. She said that they do not have any idea who would want to hurt her boyfriend because he only liked to party, and was not someone who was a troublemaker. She said that Yorke was the father of two of her children – one is 4 years old, and the other is ten months old.
Lewis said that Yorke’s death has taken a toll on her because she now has to find it within herself to explain to her children that they will not be able to see their father alive again. With all that, she said, she is trying her best to be strong for her kids, who are now left without a father.
According to CIB personnel, Yorke was shot twice, once in the upper left side of the chest, and once in the left upper arm. Police further stated that the crime was perpetrated by a lone gunman who then fled the scene on a bicycle. Yorke was pronounced dead at 12:43 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, said police, and two (2) 9mm SFL brand expended shells were retrieved from the scene. Two men have also been detained for questioning, and police are reportedly seeking another suspect, as their investigations continue.
Deon Yorke will be sadly missed by his family, relatives and a host of friends. Funeral services will be held this Saturday, October 26, at Ebenezer Church in Belize City.