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Wrong man killed in Belize City shooting

Shots rang out once again in Belize City and one bullet found its mark on a man who police believe was not the intended target.  The homicide took place shortly before eight o’clock last night. 44-year-old Emmerson Anderson was gambling and socializing with some friends inside the yard of a long barracks on Ebony Street, only a few houses away from his home when a lone gunman fired at them from the road side. Anderson was the only one hit and succumbed to his injury while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Dalila Ical has more on this story.

Last night Emmerson Anderson had left his home and walked a few houses away to socialize with some friends. It was something he usually did here inside the yard of a long barracks.

Shortly before eight o’clock, not long after the group began their game around a table, a lone gunman fired at them from the road side. “Money”, one of Anderson’s friends who withheld his name, was with the group.

“Money”, Friend: “We were socializing out of the blue a lot of noise then ‘get down’ and a whole heap of shots all I could do was jumon the ground and keep low running on my hands because I didn’t think about getting up at that moment because I wanted to get out of the reach. It was rough.”

Reporter: How many of your were there?

“Money”, Friend: “About three of us were there. I didn’t have to time to see, he went on that side and he fell on the ground and tried to get out of reach. I got to the side and got up a little and went inside my house and by the time I came out I heard ‘Little got shot.’. So I just sped back this way and peeped on the side because I know he went that way and I saw the man sitting there holding his side and I saw the blood and he was hurt. I remember standing there and looked at my side to see if I got shot but I helped my little boy and we tried to reach out and holler for vehicle and tried to tell people to phone the police.”

He said he had no time to see who was shooting at them. Anderson was hit in his stomach and died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. His friends escaped the hail of bullets unscathed. Several of these however hit one of the concrete homes inside the yard at least four times. When police processed the scene, they found scattered expended shells near the garbage bins.

Today police told the media that they have no evidence to show that Anderson was the intended target.

ASP Alejandro Cowo, Head of CIB, Belize City: “So far we are trying to establish what can be the motive. We know that Mr.Anderson is not involved with any gangs and does not have a history that we can speak about. We believe that the target was somebody else who was along with him.”

Anderson’s family say he was no trouble maker. His aunt Ellypat Skeet firmly believes the gunman was after someone else.

Ellypat Skeet, Aunt: They always say people when the die people get on the news and say that they were good and that sort of thing but for me to say that would be the truth. Emmy coming up as a little boy in the neighborhood here everybody knew him, he was always friendly, always jovial. I cannot say that he was the target it was just I believe wrong place. For me he was not the target because he was not a troublemaker and that I could say with pride because that is the truth and anybody that knows him could say the same thing. He was always so humble and always quite, never seemed to get into problems.”

Another of his aunts, Loraine Courtenay lives at the long barrack where Anderson was shot. She was in bed when the shots rang out.

Loraine Courtenay, Aunt: “Everyday he would come here and he would run joke and that is all.”

Reporter: He never told you that he had problems with anybody?

Loraine Courtenay, Aunt: “No. He doesn’t have problems with anybody because he doesn’t quarrel, he doesn’t fight, he doesn’t give trouble with people.”

Reporter: So he didn’t say if anybody was threatening him or any of that?

Loraine Courtenay, Aunt: “No he doesn’t have fuss with people, he doesn’t quarrel.”

His friend also said he could not understand why this has happened.

“Money”, Friend: “A lot of times stuff like that happen around this neighborhood but as far as I know I’m not looking for anyone. I’m selling my panades, my friend wasn’t looking for anyone either. He has his family, he had his kids. It’s a problem right now so we just have to try to overcome this. I just hope he had God in his heart and that he is blessed. He was trying like I’m doing right now.”

Reporter: So you don’t understand why that was happening.

“Money”, Friend: “It’s like a dream, like an overnight madness. You got up in a nightmare.”

For Anderson’s family, the crime situation that has gripped Belize City has reached inside their home, but despite their pain, they maintain strength and hope.

Ellypat Skeet, Aunt: “For our family we don’t want retaliation because that is not the answer. Everybody keeps saying ‘oh it will never stop.’ but people need to start saying that it will stop and do something about it to make it stop. And for it to stop is for us to come together as a people and our government and our leaders to do better than what they are doing. These guys don’t cross the borders, how do guns get into our country. So for me it’s getting our act together from the heads that be and implementing factories so that these guys could have jobs, so that they can have money to feed their families and then maybe that would assist them in not having time to think about hurting other families especially innocent people. It’s really hard but I just will continue to pray for them because at the end of the day God is our justice.”

Police are looking for one person for questioning.