Headline — 13 February 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
Star basketballer, Dwayne Cummings, 20, murdered

Cummings was walking home alone after the game, but never reached his home

ORANGE WALK TOWN, Mon. Feb. 11, 2019– Dwayne Avila Cummings, 20, a star player on the Running Rebels basketball team of Orange Walk Town, was found dead in the San Lorenzo Housing area in Orange Walk Town with a gunshot wound in his head at about 12:30 yesterday morning, less than 4 hours after his team played a hotly contested basketball match at the Multi Complex in Orange Walk on Saturday night.

Incidentally, Cummings did not play in that game, and he left the complex at about 11:15 p.m. after the game and was walking home alone.

ACP Joseph Myvette told us today during the regular police press brief that at about 12:30 yesterday morning, they were called to San Martin Street, in the San Lorenzo area, where they saw Dwayne Avila Cummings’ body, with a gunshot wound, lying on the roadside not far from his house in the area.

Myvette said that he did not reach home, and all indications are that he was shot where he was found. He was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where his body was deposited at the morgue.

He was still wearing his Running Rebels team jersey when he was found in an area through which he did not normally walk alone.

Police said that he had not reported any threats on his life, and so far no one knows why he was shot and killed.

Two persons have been detained and police are looking at footage from security cameras in the area to help them establish what happened. Several persons were detained and several vehicles were impounded and processed, as the investigation continues.

There was a concern that he may have been killed elsewhere and his body taken and dumped in the area but ACP Myvette said that residents in the area heard gunshots around that time, and he believes that Avila was killed where he was found.

Many believe that robbery was not the motive, because Cummings’ bag containing his personal belongings was near him, and his belongings were untouched.

ACP Myvette said that they have begun the investigation and additional investigators have been assigned to investigate this murder and bring the killer or killers to justice.

Cummings’ team, the Running Rebels, announced that the organization mourns the passing of their brother, who was an outstanding athlete, but more importantly, a remarkable individual — humble, respectful and hardworking. Last night a vigil was held in his honor, where he was remembered by his teammates.

Belize City councilor Micah Goodin, Cummings’ former classmate, is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who murdered Dwayne Avila Cummings.

So far the motive for Cummings’ murder remains unknown. He was not involved in gangs or violence and by all accounts, he was a well-loved and respected basketball player.

Prior to attending the University of Belize, Cummings attended Muffles College. Today, Muffles College said that it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that Muffles College High School joins the Orange Walk community in condemning the acts of violence against young people, which took the life of Dwayne Cummings.

“Dwayne was an outstanding student athlete at Muffles College”, they said, and he led his team to rejoice due to many victories and was the recipient of the Eloy Avila Athlete of the Year award at his graduation in 2014.

“He remained an active friend of Muffles College by assisting in the coaching of the school’s varsity teams. Dwayne will be missed dearly, but his memory will remain engraved in their hearts and in the song of every basketball game that is played by the school. The Muffles College family express the most deep and sincere condolences to the Cummings family,” said the school.

The president of the University of Belize, on behalf of the university, said that it is with pain that the UB community has suffered, yet again, another tragic loss of another promising student – Dwayne Cummings – due to gun violence.

Dwayne Cummings was a well-loved, outgoing and exceptional student athlete at the University of Belize. He played basketball for the UB Jaguars and was pursuing an Associate degree in Business.

UB’s head coach, Darren Bovell, in describing him, said that even though Cummings was a star athlete on UB’s Jaguars basketball team – very skilled and very tenacious, he was one of the humblest, shyest and most soft-spoken players he had ever coached. He played the game the right way, with a smile on his face and good sportsmanship, said Bovell.

The UB president said that he is deeply saddened by his death and unnerved by the violence that took his life so unexpectedly and so senselessly. “An experience like this affects us all at our deepest level”, he said. His death is a tremendous loss not only to the university and the UB community, but also to Belize, who lost an outstanding citizen and model student.

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