Teen’s Life Altered by Gun Violence in Belize
It was a relatively quiet weekend on the news front when it comes to major crimes. But while there were no murders or bloodshed, there are many individuals and families who are still reeling from the effects of crime and violence that has seeped into their lives and homes. Among them are several minors who were caught in the crosshairs of the country’s many cases of gun violence. 17-year-old, Trayson Gibson is one of them. In April 2022, the minor’s life was permanently altered when he was shot inside the comfort of his home. Reporter Vejea Alvarez has the story.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: For almost two years, 17-year-old Trayson Gibson has been confined to his bed and his wheelchair. In 2021, the minor’s life was changed forever when a gunman barged into his Mahogany Heights home and shot him in front of his mother.
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “I was just coming home from playing ball and then I went in to pick in my pool and I went inside to sit down. About thirty minutes after somebody stomped in my door and after that about ten minutes I realized I got shot and my feet started to get numb.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Since then, Gibson has been paralyzed from the waist down because when police rushed the minor to the hospital, in the pan of their pickup truck, a bullet ended up lodged in his spine.
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “They transported me to the hospital the doctor said that the bullet moved and went in my spine so.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And since then you haven’t been back to the doctor ?
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “No since a year and change I haven’t gone back to the doctor to check up or do anything, no x-ray or nothing to see if the bullet moved or anything.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Gibson’s grandmother, Casourone Arnold, has been taking care of him since he was released from the hospital. She says that while it is difficult to find Gibson’s three meals a day, she has taken up the full-time job of making sure he’s taken care of.
Casourone Arnold, Grandmother: “Sometimes things go wrong but we try to fix it. I was tending to his bed sores for a long time right ? One of them got better but he still has more. It’s kind of hard but I don’t let it stress me I still do it. It’s not like I get tired of doing it and those things. Sometimes I get a little vexed with him but I’m always there for him. When nobody else is there I am right there.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Gibson at only seventeen years old had big dreams of graduating high school and getting a job to help his family, but those goals have now been put on pause. He was forced to stop school in second form and can now only reminisce on all the things he once did for fun.
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “Changed me a lot. I can’t do what I want like that anymore, mostly stay in the house and not do anything like that. Changed a lot and all I was doing before I couldn’t walk, playing ball, sports, all of those things can’t play anymore right now. It hurts a lot. I ended up stopping school for a little while because of this injury here because I couldn’t go to school for a little while.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: You still want to go back ?
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “Well yes, I still want to go back to school. It will be a little difficult for me.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The alleged triggerman behind Gibson’s pain, who was a teen at the time, was charged with Attempted Murder and Aggravated Assault. Police say Gibson was not the intended target but believe that the incident was connected to gang rivalry in the small village.
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “I don’t have any message for the person that hurt me. I don’t have a message for him but to other youths out there your life can change in one second, any minute you life could change so you can’t want to follow people right now. Be your own self, don’t follow anybody off the street right now because you will get hurt for simple reasons just hanging out with people.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The minor goes to therapy twice a week, but he’s been told his chances of walking again are slim to none. However, he believes that medical professionals abroad may be able to perform a miracle, and hopes that with the help of others, he’ll be able to walk again.
Trayson Gibson, Shooting Victim: “Maybe I’d be able to walk again if I get outside assistance and another opinion from another doctor. Someday I will walk again with the grace of God.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: If you are willing and able to assist Gibson, he can be reached at 663-4154. Vejea Alvarez, Love News.