The four men accused of carrying out the mass shooting in Hopkins Village over the weekend were this afternoon paraded to the Dangriga Magistrate court where they were arraigned on two counts of murder. They are Sittee River residents, 28-year-old Brian Andrews, 28-year-old Kenyon Moore, 35-year-old Sherwin Moore, and 43-year-old retired Canadian soldier John Roy Smith. The three Belizeans are believed to be the shooters while the Canadian is believed to be the driver of the getaway vehicle which was later found on a farm in the Stann Creek District. No plea was taken and the men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on November 9. The men appeared today unrepresented. The mass shooting left the entire nation in shock and two persons, 23-year-old Noah Moro and 56-year-old Emilio Garcia, dead and eight others injured. Police Commissioner Chester Williams provided an update:
Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “Yes they had been under the radar of the police. I’m not going to go into details but they have been under police radar and let me say that in respect to that investigation today we were able to recover the other escaped vehicle that belonged to one of the accused men. It was found on a farm within the Stann Creek district. Police have taken custody of that vehicle. We have also received a directive from the D.P.P. representative in the south to proceed with murder charges against the four individuals that will also include the Canadian man. If it is that you and another person embark to go and commit a crime you have one common purpose. Even if it is that you remain a lookout person, you can be captured as a pat of hat enterprise in order to commit the crime and so we only need to confirm if n fac he went to the location with these young men and at that particular time they went to commit the crime while he awaited them to get them out of the area, that will fall within the scope of participation. He has been monitored by the police before but not to that extent. We have heard things about him in the past and police have checked out but not per se keeping him under the radar, no.”
Reporter: How about the weapons?
Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “We’re still searching. Officers are on the farm still. We believe that weapons might have been concealed somewhere on the farm so we’re searching the farm at this time to see if we’ll be able to recover the weapons. Cannot speak to what may have been in their mind but certainly it was premeditated because they left the club and then they came back shortly thereafter. It is clear that when they left, they went to retrieve the weapons. Perhaps it was somewhere nearby. It could have been in their vehicles that was right outside parked and then just went back into the nightclub and did what was done.”
In related news, the owner of Wabinaha nightclub has been criminally charged. Sixty-nine-year-old Bernard Franklin Nunez was charged with “admitting a person under 18 years old of age” and “failing to provide a male and a female security guard”.