BELIZE CITY, Sun. Aug. 15, 2021– Three separate shooting incidents took place over the last day and a half in Belize City, and in the wake of those shootings several persons are being treated for gunshot wounds, and two more Belize City men are dead.
The first of the three incidents occurred on Sunday, August 15, 2021. Police reports indicate that around 12:20 p.m., Delroy Sankey and Michael Gladden were walking on Hercilett Moody Street in Belize City when two male persons approached them and fired shots in their direction, which wounded both Sankey and Gladden.
Both victims were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where Sankey passed away shortly after being admitted for treatment. Gladden, however, is currently being treated for his injuries, and is listed in a stable condition.
In a subsequent shooting incident, long-time gang affiliate Joseph “Tencho” Panting and his son, Keon Panting, 13, were shot as a result of an ongoing rivalry between gangs on Mayflower Street and Banak Street, police believe.
According to police reports, Panting and his two sons were at home on Sunday night when they heard a knock on the door. Joseph Panting answered the door and found himself facing a group of young male persons, one of whom fired shots in his direction. He was wounded in the shoulder.
In an attempt to shield his sons, who were both sleeping, from the barrage of bullets, Joseph Panting positioned himself in front of them, which caused him to be wounded a second time. He might have indeed saved their lives. While his 13-year-old son, Keon Panting, was wounded in the shoulder as a result of the volley of bullets that were fired in the house, Joseph’s other son, Kewan Panting, was not wounded by the bullets. The wounded father and his 13-year-old son were then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are being treated for their injuries.
The sequence of shootings continued today when the person believed to have been the gunman who fired at the Panting family was shot just before 10:00 this morning. Police reports have said that the suspected gunman, Kanye King, a Banak Street resident, was in the Lake Independence area, just off La Croix, when he was fatally shot. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
When asked to comment on the spike in shootings this year compared to the relative lull in gun violence last year, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams pointed to the state of emergency measure and lockdowns that were in place during 2020. He said that those measures may be seen once again in order to curb the rise of gang-related violent crimes being witnessed across the country.