BELIZE CITY, Fri. July 3, 2020– Suspected bank robber, Gasman Henry Young, Jr., 24, of Belize City, who was one of five men who reportedly robbed a Scotiabank customer who was making a deposit at the bank’s Belama branch at about 3:00 yesterday afternoon, died after he was shot by police while trying to escape.
The thieves, who stole a money bag from a depositor at the bank, which contained over $20,000 in cash and over $11,000 in checks, were confronted by police in the parking lot of the bank as they were getting away, and police fired at them. There was then a high-speed chase as the robbers drove from the parking lot into Henderson Street and towards Seashore Drive.
Police said that the men stopped on Seashore Drive, which is a short distance away from the bank, jumped out of the getaway vehicle and jumped into a boat that was waiting for them.
The propeller of the boat, however, got stuck in the mud in the shallow water by the seaside, and they began to fire again at police, who were quickly advancing toward them, to delay them while they tried to free the boat’s propeller, but despite their effort, the boat, we were told by a woman who witnessed the event, did not move.
Police then opened fire at the men, and during the exchange of gunfire, two of the thieves were hit. The three other thieves jumped into the sea, but police went after them and captured them.
The five men have been identified as Anthony Barrow, 29; Leon Westby, 24; Jason McKenzie, 28; and Gasman Henry Young, Jr., 24. The fifth person is a minor, 17. All of them are of Belize City and are known to police, said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Joseph Myvett.
The two injured robbers, Gasman Young, who was shot in the neck, and Jason McKenzie, who was shot in the arm, were then taken to the hospital, where Young was pronounced dead shortly after.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Alejandro Cowo, said that McKenzie was treated and released into police custody. He has been detained with the other three robbers pending charges of aggravated robbery, multiple charges of attempted murder, possession of stolen goods, and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, among other charges.
Police said that the stolen money bag containing $21,613 cash and $11,379 in checks, along with two 9mm pistols, was recovered in the boat.
An official police report said that at about 2:50 p.m. yesterday, three men went into the Belama branch of ScotiaBank. One of them held up the security guard, who was standing by the door, and stole his cell phone.
The other two thieves held up a man who was making a bank deposit at the bank. The two thieves stole the man’s money bag at gunpoint, and also robbed a bank teller who was behind the counter. They also stole an unknown amount of money belonging to the bank, then they ran out of the bank toward a waiting vehicle that was parked in the lot.
Information to us is that a person who was in the bank quickly called police and reported a robbery in progress, and a GSU (Gang Suppression Unit) patrol that was across the highway in the Westrac parking lot, less than a minute away, responded, and came up upon the robbers as they were escaping.
Police fired at them in the parking lot to stop them from escaping, but they drove away at high speed and police pursued them to the seashore, where there was an exchange of gunfire as the thieves were trying to escape in a boat.