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Two brothers killed in 12 days Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 October 2017 00:00

(Pic of Kenneth Flowers Courtesy of 7 News)

The Almendarez family from the Lake Independence area of Belize City lost another son to gun violence. 25 year-old Shaquawn Almendarez was shot and killed by a gunman who came looking for him at his home. His older brother, Jason Almendarez, was murdered in another shooting only 12 days before that.

The incident happened at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 22, at the Almendarez family home on Electric Avenue. Shaquawn Almendarez was just about to enter his front gate when a dark-skinned shooter approached him and shot him in the right side of the chest and the right wrist. His family was at home, and his mother, Karen Almendarez, told the press that the execution of her son caused an uproar in her house, with one of her other sons, shouting angrily at the retreating gunman.

She described the moment of the attack saying, “I was not hearing. I wasn’t seeing. It was like I was blanked out to everything. When I did return back, I sprang out of my room, went through the front door. I don’t even remember if the gunman was still around or what. I just flew downstairs. When I came by the gate, my son was gasping and his mouth filled with blood. All I did was turn his face on the other side so that the blood could come out.”

She said that her son placed Almendarez into a neighbour’s vehicle, and he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but at around 5:45, fifteen minutes after he was shot, he passed away.

Karen Almendarez and her family are upset with police because according to her, Shaquawn Almendarez was receiving threats to his life. They had only just buried her other son, Jason, when those threats reportedly started coming in. Readers may remember that on October 10, 2017, 27-year-old Jason Almendarez was shot and killed at the Fish Joint Food Shop on Jasmine Street. That’s a few blocks away from his home, and in the aftermath, his brother, Shaquawn, started getting messages sent to him that he would be next.

His mother, Karen told the press that officers of the Gang Suppression Unit began visiting him. From their perspective, these officers jokingly told him that the “Big Fish”, who ordered the murder of his brother, said that he would be next.

Karen Amendarez said, “My son (Shaquawn) called the “Big Fish”, and my son was talking to the ‘big fish”. Like he was pleading to him. ‘You are a big war; I am only me.’ The big fish told him, ‘That’s how it happened, and that’s how it will happen.’ And all that he told the police as well. But, as I said, they took him for a clown.”

It is unclear at this time why Shaquawn Almendarez was killed, but his mother, Karen, freely admitted that he was involved in marijuana business. She described it saying, “They (Jason and Shaquawn) don’t get involved in gang. They don’t affiliate with anybody. They might spend their time for the weed. I will not tell you any lie.”

This mother grieves the death of her third son, two of whom died within 2 weeks of each other, and to gun violence. She said that she is concerned that her other 6 sons may be at risk, but she “rebukes” the possibility that there will be another violent death in her family.

Some people in the Lake Independence area have inferred that this “Big Fish” that she was referring to is Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers. He has since granted an interview to the media to categorically deny that he had anything to do with the murder of the Almendarez brothers. He claimed they are family members of his and had no reason to kill them.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October 2017 17:08