Murder Near Police Station Sparks Concern in State of Emergency Zone

Murder Near Police Station Sparks Concern in State of Emergency Zone

A man was slain last night within shouting distance of the Mahogany Street Police Station. The victim, 33-year-old Michael Usher, was targeted as he walked on Flamboyant Street in the St. Martin’s Area, which was recently added to the list of communities under the State of Emergency. The killing is believed to be yet another gang-related murder, although Usher was not a gang member. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more. 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: In a matter of minutes, Michael “Jigga” Usher went from a man who was full of life to a victim of senseless gun violence. On Monday night, the 33-year-old was targeted by a lone gunman on Flamboyant Street. The Majestic Alley resident was walking toward Mahogany Street when the assailant snuck up from behind and shot him several times around 8 o’clock. His body remained on the pavement for several minutes until he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. In the aftermath of his shooting, residents of the area criticized police for not rushing Usher to the hospital. 

Resident: “That’s sad because the boy is still breathing.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: It was only last week that Commissioner of Police Chester Williams clarified that it is not within the purview of police to transport injured persons. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “As you would know there is a standing protocol that we do not transport injured persons to the hospital, the police only transport the dead. Injured persons are to be transported by the ambulance. If you go anywhere in the world do you see the police taking injured people to the hospital ? No. We’re the only one that practice that nonsense in Belize. It’s not the proper practice.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Usher was from Pinks Alley better known as Majestic Alley. So, it begs the question as to what he was doing in an unfriendly zone. A situation that even shocked the Area Representative of Forge George, Henry Charles Usher. 

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Certainly last night we we heard the news around eight o’clock I was very saddened that Michael Usher, better known as “Jigga” in the area was killed and where he was killed because really I was surprised to heart that he was in that area. It really is a loss to the community because although Michael has had his run ins with the law you know like everybody else he has his issues he was a man who was willing to assist in the community, he always worked with us.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Preliminary reports suggest that Usher was lured to his death. Just hours before he was murdered he was socializing with a female friend at his home and later left with her. His family says he was hesitant but ultimately left never to return. His mother, Ethylene Harriss, described him as a humble and friendly man.

Ethylene Harriss, Mother: “He was a gentleman. He graduated from Wesley College when she was sixteen. He went to sixth form and came out when he was nineteen years old.”

Reporter: I understand too he was someone who liked to dance. 

Ethylene Harriss, Mother: “Oh yes, dance and all kinds of things, and drink a little. Yes he liked to give jokes, make everybody laugh. He was good. One little girl he had, one year old in February.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Usher was an aspiring artist and often tried to spread positive messages in his songs. A friend of his spoke to our newsroom off-camera and explained that just a couple of weeks ago, he saved a woman from drowning. 

Friend: “Well to save someone’s life it’s not easy to put your life in the predicament to jump into water to save someone else’s life that is already under the influence of alcohol because the lady had just come from a Belikin fest and whatnot and when she reached to the boat back there there was a little altercation and police took everybody off the boat. In the mix of things police just watched the flow to see what would happen and they lady just got up and jumped in the water. Jigga as a good samaritan just went and helped the lady with police assistance as well. A real G and made me eat food just like how I made him eat food. A good man, a brethren. Anybody that knew that man knew that he was a smart man. And who knows him know he is a good man. Doesn’t matter what we do in the streets, doesn’t matter what happens we know where our goodness is and people know where our goodness is.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: His family says that Usher was not a gang member, but he was working with the Leadership Intervention Unit to try and spark change among the youth in his marginalized community. 

Ethylene Harriss, Mother: “He was working with LIU and he used to work with BTL one time as he left school he started to work with BTL but he left that but he was good. I couldn’t complain about him.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “So he was a person who was well known in the area certainly, a community activist, a worker, a campaigner and really he will be missed. So certainly I was saddened to hear and condolences go out to his mom a long time resident in Pinks Alley in the Majestic Alley area and he leaves behind a very young daughter. A daughter who will not know her father and a community that will grieve him.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Police are yet to provide an official motive for Usher’s murder, but speculation suggests he was swept up in ongoing gang feuds plaguing Belize City. His murder has resulted in several more persons from the St. Martin’s area being detained by police.

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