By Michelle Suherland
In just 48 hours, the entrance of Punta Gorda Town was cordoned off as a crime scene while police officers worked to remove the bodies of two men who were shot dead in two separate incidents but who have now become the latest victims of gun violence sparked by an ongoing war over drug turf.
The most recent murder which occurred around 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 24th, claimed the life of Dwayne Myers 49, a resident of the Hopeville area of Punta Gorda. Official details released by Police are that upon receiving reports of the shooting they proceeded to the entrance of the town, situated by the dollar sign monument where they encountered a white taxicab, parked in front of a bus stop with its light still on. Officers say that when they looked inside the vehicle they found Myers seated in the driver’s seat, bleeding profusely from several gunshot wounds. Myers, police say, was immediately extracted from the vehicle and taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment for as many as eight gunshot wounds to his face.
An investigation launched by police revealed that prior to his murder, Myers had driven from the direction of the Joe Taylor Bridge in town and had parked at the location when about five minutes later a cycle, with two occupants, who drove from the same direction, approached the vehicle that Myers was still seated in and fired multiple gunshots at him before driving off.
When police cordoned off the scene they found nine expended shells, from two caliber weapons. On Monday police sources confirmed that there were no suspects in the latest incident but investigators are working around the clock to see whether they could find any evidence to link the latest murder to several others that have happened over the past few weeks in Punta Gorda Town.
One of those murders that cops have successfully investigated is the Thursday night murder of Kevaughan Wade who was shot dead around 7:45 p.m. as he sat on the veranda of his grandmother’s home, through an alley at the entrance of the town. Like Myers, Wade was rushed to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment for two gunshot wounds, one to his chest and the other to his chin.
On Monday, Head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch ACP Joseph Myvett told the media, “Police investigation so far has led to the detention and charge of a 16-year old minor from Belize City for the crime of murder. We are following several leads including one which alleged that the minor had a confrontation with the deceased prior to the incident. We also believe that it may have had some drug organ affiliation in respect to what happened and we are also looking at the possibility that it could have been a hit.”
Top Police sources have confirmed to the Reporter that the recent spike in murders in Punta Gorda Town is reportedly being orchestrated by Belize City street figures who are attempting to take over and control drug turf in Punta Gorda Town.