SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Mon. July 20, 2020– The peaceful town of San Ignacio was rocked by gunfire at about 1:30 this morning. Four men and a policeman were shot by a gunman as they were socializing in the parking lot of CK Nightclub.
The four men, identified as Samuel Hill, 22, a taxi driver of Esperanza; Windell Trapp, 29, an unemployed resident of Santiago Juan Layout, San Ignacio; Marquees Robateau, 19, a sailor of the Belize Coast Guard; and Telesha Mckay, 29, a consultant of Esperanza Village, along with Danny Jimenez, a police officer of San Ignacio, are the victims.
Police say that McKay and Robateau were sitting in the back seat of a Toyota Camry car, while Trapp and Hill were sitting in the front.
Jimenez was outside the car, and he and the driver were conversing when the gunman approached the driver side of the car and fired into the group. He then escaped.
Trapp and Hill were shot in the head and chest and died almost immediately on the scene, while Robateau, Jimenez and Mckay all suffered varying gunshot injuries.
The shooting victims were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital.
The shooting is believed to be the result of ongoing gang rivalry between two groups in the area.
Danny Jimenez is an elite football player who is a member of the National Football Team and often travels with the team to represent Belize abroad; Windell Trapp was also a football player from Cayo who had played with the Verdes Football Club.
Today, Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvett said that PC Danny Jimenez and Samuel Hill, the taxi driver, were not the targets. He said that Jimenez was standing outside of the car talking to Hill, the driver, when he saw a gunman coming towards them.
Jimenez stepped forward to wrestle with the gunman, but the gunman shot him, causing him to fall, and the killer then fired a barrage of shots into the car, and ran away.
Jimenez was shot in the jaw, but is now recovering.
Myvett said that the two groups in San Ignacio whose rivalry led to the shooting have been “beefing” for over a year. Mediation attempts have been carried out, he said, but to no avail.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) operations will be conducted in San Ignacio and Santa Elena commencing today, to flush out the gang members.
He calls on the residents of the twin towns to be patient with police as they bring the situation under control. The Police Commissioner also calls on the residents to cooperate with police.
In September 2018, Windell Trapp told the media that his life and the lives of his family members had been put in danger and he had been receiving threats after he was detained in connection with the investigation of a murder of a Galindo family member that occurred in Santa Elena.
He told police that he was in Belmopan playing ball with the Verdes Football Club at the time, and that detaining him would only endanger him, but he still was detained.