Murder of 16-year-old Wellington Williams prompts police to visit schools to encourage positive behavior
The murder of sixteen-year-old student of Saint John’s College, Wellington Williams, has highlighted the importance of working to keep the nation’s youth safe. The teen was gunned down while delivering food in the Port of Belize area. Williams was by all accounts a productive member of his community and a humble young man. His death came months after two other SJC students lost their lives to gun violence. In the wake of Williams’ murder, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa says the member of the police department have been visiting schools to encourage students to stay on the straight and narrow.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “You know it’s very disheartening. We actually had a very fruitful meeting with the staff, the president, the headmaster of SJC in the aftermath of the loss of Wellington Williams and you know it is truly admirable to see the length to which an institution like SJC goes because not only are they inclusive for even the most marginalized at risk youth but they do everything in their power in terms of offering them after school classes, extra curricular activities, sports, everything to try and engage the young men in a positive way but at the end of the day many of these young men have to go back to reality at the end of the day and so they can only do so much. I think this happened right at the start of the Easter Holidays and so everyone is certainly reeling over the loss of young Wellington but it just goes to show that there is a bigger problem in terms of the upbringing of our young men, the ones who committed the crime I’m talking about how is it that you can wake up one day and say I’m going to murder a 16 year old young man going to deliver food ? And so it speaks volumes of the environment that we have to work in, that we have to improve and that is why a lot of the focus from our government is education and keeping our young men and young women in school. And so what the meeting eventually led to is an agreement for us because it’s not just St.John’s College we’ve had interventions over at Nazarene for troubled young men, Brother Nuri and Commissioner Williams went to the school and intervened there and so what we’re seeing now is that there is a lot of crime and violence infiltrating the school level even at the primary school level. So a lot of our young men are being recruited from a very young tender age, we have to acknowledge that and at the same time try our best to nip that in the bud. And so we agreed with St.John’s College to partner with them in offering training, violence interruption training because as teachers you have to have the ability to recognize when a particular young man is acting differently, when they’re acting out or when there’s a sudden change in their behavior and you have to do more yes as a teacher but also reach out to their parents bring them in and to see how we can work to mold this child back into the positive path that they’re leading. And so there’s a lot of interruption, violence interruption that we intend to do and implement in the schools not just like I said high schools but also at the primary school level.”
Wellington Williams was killed on Saturday, April 1, 2023.