By Marion V. Ali
Investigators are following new leads into the murder of Lijohn Franklyn, 33, who was shot and killed last Friday evening in his yard at 7011 Iguana Street Extension.
A surveillance camera affixed on Kim’s Shop across from Franklyn’s house picked up the gunman riding past a couple times before he got off his bike, walked toward the men and unleashed a volley of bullets at them.
Franklyn was fatally hit and collapsed near the side of his house. He died minutes later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
The recording, according to one person who has viewed it, also shows the gunman dropping the gun as he fled, and bending down to pick it up, before riding off in plain view of those who were around.
Police have made no arrests, but have theorized that the reason for the shooting is the same as most other Belize City shootings of late – an ongoing internal gang conflict. Yet they do not believe the bullets were intended for Franklyn.
In December 2000, Franklyn, then 19, was charged with robbery of a Chinese businessman in Belmopan. In July 2001 he suffered a bullet wound as he and Erlin Budran, 20, tried to flee Sikaffy’s Store on Albert Street after robbing the business.
On the day of the incident, police arrived on Bishop Street where Franklyn and his partner in crime had run after the robbery. They found $40 and a gold chain in Franklyn’s possession, which he had stolen from the co-owner of Sikaffy’s. He was also clutching a gun, which he had used to beat Beulah Sikaffy, the wife of Sydney Sikaffy, in order to get the money and the chain.
Sydney Sikaffy pulled his licensed gun after Franklyn pointed his gun on him, chased the robbers and shot them as they fled.
Franklyn was charged on July 27, 2001, after having recovered from his gunshot wound to the chest. While hospitalised, he underwent surgery for a collapsed lung.
Budran, who was shot in the back, died the day before he was scheduled to leave Belize to receive medical attention. Doctors had projected that even if he survived, he would not have been able to walk.
Franklyn is survived by one daughter, aged four, three stepchildren, and his common-law wife, Kimberly. Vernon.