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PM says mass shooting “unBelizean”

GeneralPM says mass shooting “unBelizean”

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 8, 2022 The Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño, while speaking to local reporters last week, commented on last Sunday’s mass shooting at Wabinaha Night Club in Hopkins that claimed the lives of 2 persons and left 8 others with gunshot injuries. He stated, while attempting to describe his response to the shooting, that he was at a loss for words, and he ultimately referred to the firing of shots at a crowd in the Hopkins nightclub, which is only the second such incident to have taken place in the country, as “unBelizean”.

“I don’t think we could really find the adequate words to express just the horror of what happened in Hopkins. It is something that is so unBelizean; in our mind that just doesn’t happen,” PM Briceño said.

He then speculated that the exposure of Belizeans to media coverage of mass shootings in the United States might have possibly influenced the mindset of the shooters.

The four men—the three Belizean gunmen (Brian Andrews, 28; Kenyon Moore, 25; and Sherwin Moore, 35) and the Canadian military veteran who served as their driver—were arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate’s court last Thursday and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 9. They had all been residing in Sittee River.

“The police moved very quickly. They managed to get the person who was driving the getaway car, and it seems, based on evidence, that they managed to find the three persons that committed the crime, it seems,” PM Briceño said.

Hon. Briceño went on to note that he wants the country’s best prosecutors to be assigned to put together a case in court against the men to ensure they receive the maximum possible sentence.

“I want to make sure that we get the best prosecutors to go after them, and if it’s left up to me, they should not see

he light of day. They should be locked up for the rest of their lives, to point to other criminals that we will go after them,” the PM said. He also pointed out that his administration is making an effort to equip law enforcement personnel with more technology and more advanced security equipment through funding obtained via a loan from CABEI.

“We’re starting to work on putting up more cameras. We have a loan with CABEI that will allow us to put more cameras in the hotspots, especially in Belize City. We’re getting body cameras for the police also … officers, when they are out there, they could know that … (a) they can’t misbehave, and (b), if people are misbehaving that we can capture that,” the PM said.

He additionally made reference to a new intake of police officers who will have to be capable and receive proper training so that they can perform effectively as soon as they are deployed. He noted, however, that shoring up the security forces is only addressing one aspect of the ongoing crime issue within the country, and pointed to what appears to be a breakdown of the moral fiber within young persons.

“But that is only one part of the equation,” he said… “The [other] part is the social aspect of it, that there seems, especially in some of our young people, a total breakdown in the social fabric, in the way they think and they behave, and that is why we are saying that we have to invest in education,” he further remarked.

He said that the launch of a free education program within four schools on the Southside of Belize City is a first step to ensure that students have access to schooling, and the support they need in order to remain in the classroom.

According to Hon. Briceño, his government is doing everything possible to address crime from both the angles he mentioned.

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