By Marion Ali
Surveillance video which captured the moments just before the shooting murder of Kareem Clarke have offered telling details.
The recording, captured by a surveillance camera attached to Vikings Club on th Vernon Street, near its junction with Lakeview Street, shows Clarke, dressed in a white shirt, riding alone on his bicycle at a casual pace past the clu, towards the bridge.
It shows him inching to the left side of the street, as if someone’s presence in the distance had ahead startled him.
He never increased speed and as he neared the junction of Vernon and Lakeview Streets, when he collapsed and fell to the ground.
The shooter has not identified on camera, because the place of assassination where Clarke was gunned down was too dark.
Less than ten seconds after Clarke collapsed to the ground, a police mobile, also moving at casual speed, appears in the frame. It stops and secures the crime scene, but none of the officers that occupied the vehicle appeared to be looking for the shooter or shooters, who were in the area only seconds before.
Two male figures on separate bikes rode up from the same direction a few seconds after the police mobile had arrived on the scene, and after a short exchange of words with them, they were allowed to continue on their way.
Less than two minutes later, a second police mobile arrived at the scene, and one of them later took Clarke’s body to the morgue.
Superintendent of Police, Hilberto Romero, who heads the Crimes Investigations Branch (CIB) told The Reporter that they were investigating jealousy as the motive.
This week, in an outpouring of grief for their fallen colleague, various media personalities spoke of the young, budding journalist whose life was cut short.
Hipolito Novelo of Love News remembered him as a humble person “I don’t think anyone has anything bad to say about Kareem. He was a very humble guy, hard-working, very dedicated.”
Alexis Milan of the Reporter Press remembered the bond they shared. “We had this kind of kinship. He was always someone I could go to, depend on and return the favour for him whenever he needed it. I always used to like meeting him at events. It was fun being at events with him. He had a sense of humour that I gravitated towards.”
Still another colleague remembered his optimism. Shane Williams of the Guardian Newspaper said, “One thing I could related to Kareem – we had similar backgrounds – we came from the “hood”. And everytime I would go to an assignment and meet Kareem, he would say ‘Shane, we wa mek it.’”
His skills and dedication to a challenging career was also praised by Sharon Marin-Lewis at Krem News:
“Working with Kareem was a great joy. Oftentimes we find young people who say they are interested in media and the work, but when they realize the amount of work it really takes to be a good journalist – it’s a daunting task to take on and I believe that Kareem Clarke took on that task with great enthusiasm and he did a great job being a journalist.”
As the Kremandala compound displays a black bow to grieve the loss of one of Belize’s youngest journalists, his family has planned his funeral for Saturday afternoon with a Mass in celebration of his life at Saint Joseph Church.