Four shot on Neal’s Penn Road; police look for suspect

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

Police are seeking one suspect in connection with a shooting on Neal’s Penn Road in Belize City on Sunday which left four people injured.

Police say that sometime around 3:00 that afternoon, Godwin Flowers, 28; Cameron Moreira, 18; Darren Dawson, 32; and Gerald Tillett, 67, were all gathered on the sidewalk in front of #10 Neal’s Penn Road when a gunman rode up and shot at them.

Moreira was shot in his buttocks, left elbow and right hand; Flowers was shot in his right upper arm and left thigh; Dawson was shot in the right upper arm and the left thigh; and Tillett was shot in his left thigh.

The victims were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and are in stable condition, except for Tillett, who has been treated and released.

Police say the shooting was gang-related and that one of the men shot was the target. Senior Superintendent of Police, Marco Vidal, who is the Police Department’s south side Commander for Eastern Division, said the shootings could trigger more retaliatory shootings, since the recent spate of shootings are the result of feuding among street gangs over turf in a drug war.

“These incidents are as a result of the expansion of the sale of drugs, and …obviously people arm themselves and they will protect turf or they will try to gain other turfs, so then what we see is that what would have been certain level of friendship turn out into enemy rivalry,” Vidal said.

The senior police officer also explained that there is a grade of marijuana that is now sold in Belize that is not grown locally and is costly, so when a peddler loses his stock or is unable to come up with his proceeds, it results in murders. He added that the feud has been going on for quite a while, but are just now playing out.

Vidal says he takes no culpability for the high number of murders that have occurred under his watch since July, with 29, and 12 alone in October. “It has happened while I was in command, but I cannot take any personal responsibility because I’m not responsible for any of those things,” he added.

The police will put measures in place to apprehend the perpetrators when they seek to carry out their crimes, Vidal warned.

Since the Police Department’s Addressing Crime Together (ACT) operation, which included the deployment of policemen and women in 15 police vehicles in three “hot spot” areas of Belize City’s south side, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Magdaleno said there have been numerous raids and apprehension of persons who were wanted for a period of time.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie has said that the undertaking needs some tweaking to make it more effective.

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