The anti-vaxxers are not the only ones raising hell in Belize; the criminal elements continue to plague the communities with the latest attack at the eight mile community. Our newsroom was alerted of a robbery in progress just after nine o’clock this morning, some twenty minutes later the news emerged that one person was shot dead during the armed robbery. And just like that Jacky’s Store became a crime scene and Police officers swarmed the area. Reporter Vejea Alvarez was at the scene and filed the following report.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Just before nine o’clock on Thursday morning four armed bandits stormed into Jacky’s Fast Food and Supermarket in the Western Paradise Village. The thieves entered from the grocery portion of the establishment and proceeded to hold up 42 year old Yang Fen Zang and 39 year old Ka Yang Lee at gunpoint. Fearing for their lives the business owners handed over an undisclosed amount of cash from a white container that was under the counter. The thieves’ terror didn’t end there as they barged into the kitchen area where they met 42 year old Chu Rong Zang who was robbed of his wallet and left unconscious after being hit to the head with a firearm. The culprits then attempted to escape by jumping the barbed wire fence at the back of the building. While attempting to do so Zang regained consciousness and rushed to the back with his licensed shotgun in hand. Zang immediately fired shots at the men as they attempted to scale the fence fatally injuring 19 year old Ashton Samuels and wounding 20 year old Tyler Ramclam. Samuel’s motionless body fell to the ground where he laid for over an hour and Ramclam was later found in an open lot on top of an old refrigerator with gunshot wounds to the left calf. Ramclam’s grandfather, an eyewitness to the crime says the men attempted to take him hostage while he was sitting in front of the store.
Grandfather: “I was sitting over there and a gentleman came on that bicycle that you see lying down on the cement there and grabbed me and was trying to pull me into the shop. So I struggled myself and I got out of his hold and went in and he came out back and he ran down the street back that way. That is all I saw. Now people are claiming that my grandson whose name is Tyler came out, I did not see my grandson out here at all this morning so I would just like to clear that up that my grandson was not out here.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: While he didn’t see his grandson enter the store the evidence proves otherwise. Ramclam’s grandfather says he encouraged him to get a job several times and believes he deserves what he got.
Grandfather: “If he’s connected with this I would feel very ashamed of him and I tried to talk to him to go look for a job. Go look for a job because you have a child, you have two daughters and you have to mind them. You should not expect anybody else to be minding your children. As far as I’m concerned if I go to rob you and you shoot me I deserve it and as far as I am concerned laziness is one of the worst disease because by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says that while the store owner had all rights to protect his property it is unknown at this time whether or not he will face charges.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “You would know that the law does make provision for one to protect him or herself as well as to protect others as well as to provide protection for your property; that is governed by section 39 of the criminal code and so in a situation like this we would have to do our investigation send the file to the DPP and then the DPP would be the one to determine whether or not there will be charges filed against the individual.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And while many may not sympathize with the family of 19 year old Ashton Samuels who is believed to have been associated with the George Street gang some criminal elements in the city say they feel this could have been avoided had Samuels been given more opportunities.
“Watch what happened today. Watch the youth. The youth gone right there why ? Why do you think he went right there? Because he’s hungry. I am telling you if he were on the lane right now with a kilo a weed I’m telling you that youth there they wouldn’t even go on the robbery scene you understand ? That man died- that man’s whole face is open up out there.”
“Just to show you that is not our side of thug, not our friends but just to show you at the end of the day we’re still black people so we feel it too you understand it. Although we are enemies we feel it for that young man there because at the end of the day we bleed the same too.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The Commissioner says that police found three firearms; a .38 revolver, two pellet guns in the area where the men attempted to escape along with several expended 12 gauge cartridges.
The men escaped with one thousand and seven hundred dollars in cash. In the end, 19-year-old, Ashton Samuels is dead and 20-year-old, Tyler Ramclam is recovering from gunshot wounds. The shop owner is also recovering from injuries to the forehead.