Within a span of three hours yesterday evening, Belize City saw two murders and another person injured in three separate incidents. The first happened at around four o’clock when a gunman barged into a barbershop on Zericote Street and fired shots at the barber, 52-year-old John Crawford. Crawford was shot to the left cheek and further wounded when the bullet exited through his neck. A motive is yet to be determined. Love News understands that he is listed as stable at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Reports of a second shooting reached our newsroom at around five thirty. In this incident 52-year-old Michael Barrera was fatally shot at the corner of Iguana Street and Central American Boulevard. Reporter Courtney Menzies has the story.
Gun violence has struck again this time taking the life of beloved counselor. 52-year-old Michael Barrera became a counselor to assist and guide youths down the right path. His family is in disbelief that he was killed in that way. His cousin Grace Flowers stated that they believe that he was gunned down innocently.
Grace Flowers, Sister: “The last time I saw him was yesterday afternoon, he was in my yard. We were discussing our dogs, he wanted his dog to mate my dog and I told him no, we made fun of it and he left. About half an hour later we got the news that someone got shot. I couldn’t believe it was him until we confirmed it. It is very hard because he’s a counselor and he tried to help out all the at risk youths them, he did a lot of counseling, he worked along with CYDP until the time of his death but I guess he was waiting to renew his contract and I think if he was still working he wouldn’t have bee in that morgue where he is right now.”
According to Flowers, Barrera was buying food for his daughter at Bravo Shop when he was shot. The gunman was allegedly chasing another target but when that target escaped he fired after Barrera. When we visited the family home Barrera’s mother was in tears as she grieved her son especially since she had already lost another child.
Grace Flowers, Sister: “Michael spent most of his time in the US, he had a family over there. He left four kids behind, he have grand kids out there. He came home and he started a new family where he had three other kids this side. He was a nice person, everybody loved him for what he do, he tried to help everyone so it’s unfair how they just took his life. His mom is very devastated because she lost her youngest son in this same situation which they are not gangbangers; they mentioned that Mr.Barrera is from Rocky Road but he is not from Rocky Road, he born and grow at #180 East Canal. If he was a problem person then but he is not a problem person so it will be hard on his mom and his family.”
Barrera leaves behind seven children with the youngest being only seven years old.
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams noted that Barrera was not the intended target. He also stated that Barrera was an outstanding person, and was not gang affiliated.