BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 12, 2019– This afternoon, the life of Stephan McLaren, 20, of Mapp Street was taken away by a gunman. McLaren and his friend, Karon Gladden, were standing on New Road smoking marijuana when a man came behind McLaren and shot him in the back of the head.
The bullet went through McLaren’s head and struck Gladden in the arm.
As a result, McLaren fell to the pavement and Gladden sprinted away in fright. He got a cab and went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. McLaren was taken to the hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.
McLaren’s uncle told us that minutes before the shooting, police were in the area and they searched him, but nothing was found on him, and they drove away. As the police officers were driving away, however, the gunman approached McLaren and shot him.
His uncle told us that when McLaren went looking for marijuana to buy, he went to his favorite place, where he usually purchased marijuana, but his friend was not at home. His uncle had not expected him to go to the New Road area, where some men believed to be members of the Bloods gang often socialize, and he believes that the shooter came out of the yard to which McLaren had gone and shot him.
McLaren had been reportedly threatened in that area, but had taken it lightly. His uncle, who claims that McLaren was not a gang member and was not a violent person, said that if he had known that McLaren had headed to New Road to purchase marijuana, he would have stopped him. His life was taken away for nothing, said his uncle.
By all accounts to us, McLaren was a calm and friendly person. His mother-in-law told us that she saw him grow up and he was mannerly. He was usually at their house to visit his girlfriend, after which he went home. This afternoon, his sister saw him standing on New Road and asked him to accompany her to the Chinese store to buy food in an attempt to get him out of the area, but he did not go with her.
No one has yet been arrested for the murder.
Stephan McLaren is survived by his parents, two brothers and two sisters, his uncles, aunts and other relatives.