After months of calm in Belize City’s Southside area, the senseless murder of 34 year-old Tanika Lemoth broke the quiet on the predawn hours Sunday, March 13. Lemoth and 3 other persons were shot in a drive-by, but Lemoth suffered the most serious injuries, and she died 10 minutes after being shot.
Police investigation is that at around 4:20 on Sunday, Lemoth, 33 year-old Doris Gilharry,, and 34 Hanifa Flowers all charted taxi man Jaime Villanueva to take them to their Belize City homes. They had only just left the Christopher Martin Concert when they caught Villanueva and instructed him to take them home. Flowers told the press that Villanueva appeared very concerned for his safety, was telling them, "I just threw out a well-known gunman out…I don't want any problems, I had to throw him out of my vehicle. I had to physically get out my front seat and throw him out of my vehicle”.
Well, it appears that this gunman somehow managed to follow the taxi driver in another vehicle, even though they took a roundabout route to try to make sure they weren’t followed. While the Taxi was on Faber’s Road, another car pulled up close enough. That’s when the occupants opened fired on the taxi. Lemoth, who was in the back seat was injured in the chest and lower back. Doris Gilharry, who was sitting beside her suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the chest. 31 year-old Driver Jaime Villanueva, was injured in the upper back. Hanifa Flowers was not injured by gunshots, but because she took cover under the dashboard, she hit her head hard on it when the driver crashed into a nearby fence after being shot. She was having vision problems after that incident.
As soon as the gunman or gunmen sprayed the vehicle with bullets, they sped off, and police nearby, who heard the gunshots responded. They tried to get all 4 persons to the hospital, but Lemoth died on the way. The Commander of the Eastern Division South, Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams, and his team have stepped up their investigative efforts to try to solve this crime. This is the first murder in 4 months in the Precinct 1 jurisdiction, which covers a portion of the Belize City’s Southside. It’s a well-known crime hotspot of the City.