By Alexis R. Milan
Police say they have intensified their crime-fighting efforts in Belize City in an attempt to suppress the recent spike in gang-related-violence.
According to Miguel Segura, O.C. Eastern Division, the department has been making every effort to control the situation since the first incident on Saturday.
Segura said that police information indicates that the recent escalation is the result of a personal conflict between men associated with George Street and Ghost Town.
Segura said that the police had been in dialogue with key players from each area but the leaders have said that they are not responsible for the actions of a few men.
The conflict has resulted in three shooting incidents, nine people being shot, and many others hospitalized.
According to Segura an incident that took place at club Elite between a George Street associate and members from Ghost Town led to all the violence.
As the George Street associates left the club a lone gunman rode up on them near the intersections of Newtown Barracks and Calle al Mar.
Sixteen-year-old Corine Cory White was shot in that incident.
On Sunday a graduation party at the Brown Sugar Mall became the stage for retaliation as two gunmen entered the party and started firing.
That party was being held for the daughter of reputed Ghost Town leader Roger Anthony. That incident left five people wounded and one of them, Kirk Smith Jr., who was believed to be one of the shooters, in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
The violence continued early Tuesday morning as 30-year-old Rafael Cruz was shot four times at the corner of Vernon and Mayflower streets.
Cruz was on his way to a shop when two men rode by on a motorcycle and fired 10 shots. Cruz has since remained at the KHMH in critical condition.
Another shooting also took place on Tuesday afternoon on Victoria Street. No one was shot in this incident.
Segura explained they are by dispatching more foot patrols, establishing more checkpoints and conducting raids in known hot spots to quell the escalating violence.