Six weeks into 2015, and Belmopan police have their fourth murder; the second homicide for the community of Roaring Creek.
Around 6:50 pm, last Saturday afternoon resident, John Alexander Smith, 61, was killed; shot to death with a single bullet to the head, only feet from his home on Young Street.
Residents who saw what happened report that the gunman walked along with Smith, and as Smith neared his home on the well lit street, shot him in cold blood.
The gunman was wearing a long sleeved shirt, dark pants and rubber boots. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a stocking mask, and pulling it over his head, shot Smith at point-blank range.
As Smith lay bleeding on the ground, gasping for his last breath, the gunman waited on the other side of the street to make sure that his victim would die.
Even as residents emerged from their homes, drawn by the sound of the gunshot and the sight of Smith on the ground, the gunman waited.
One family member told The Reporter that as neighbours and family crowded around Smith, the masked man, gun in hand, walked casually back up the street and then ran into the bush.
Family members appeared dazed and in shock at the brazen, brutal murder of Smith, a handyman who all in the community know as “Jatta”.
Jatta was a peaceful soul who never troubled anyone. People in Roaring Creek trusted him to do errands for them, to cut the grass in their their yards and do odd jobs around their homes.
Smith had just left one of his “regular” jobs at a local establishment in Roaring Creek and was heading home with food, when he was killed.
Belmopan Police, reeling from four homicides in five weeks, have nothing to explain this execution- style murder of John “Jatta”Smith.
They speculate that he may have seen “something” in his daily routine which marked him for death. No one has been detained for questioning at this time.
The first murder of the year occurred on New Year’s Day, in nearby Teakettle Village, when resort manager, Yaima Duany Ledesma was gunned down in brazen fashion in front of witnesses.
No arrest has been made for that murder. On January 21, 2015, the body of Roaring Creek resident, Emerson Daly was pulled from the river near Banana Bank. He had been shot in the face.
Then on February 3, 2015, the body of a security guard was found in Belmopan City, hacked to death, his right arm amputated.
No arrests have been made for any of these grisly murders.
And now, police must track down a brutal killer, the man in the rubber boots, who shot and killed John “Jatta” Smith, murder victim #4, and waited around for him to die before taking off.