Kirk Hemmans Murder Result of Tangled Gang War Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:00

Kirk HemmansAt about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13th, 16-year-old Kirk Hemmans became the latest murder victim from an area that has been ground zero for Belize City gang warfare over the last month. Supaul Street and surrounding areas have seen numerous shootings and murders over the last few weeks due to ongoing gang rivalry and personality clashes.

Hemmans had been living in fear for his life since his friend, Kendis Pike was killed on Tuesday, July 31st. That fear escalated when his neighbour, Arlene Banner’s, house was shot up early Saturday morning and an 11-year-old and 18-year-old were injured. Hemmans is not known as a violent or dangerous individual but he is known for hanging out with Supaul Street residents. His fear was not predicated by his direct involvement in any criminal activity; it was based on his understanding of how thin the line between friend and foe really is in a hostile environment. Hemmans lived the last few days of his life not certain what friends to hang with and which enemies to fear.

He was at his grandmother’s house on Monday night before he decided to go buy something to eat. His grandmother warned him about being on the street late; however, Hemmans was hungry and wanted something from a nearby Chinese fast food shop. He was on his way back from buying a burger and ideals and was riding on Kut Avenue heading towards Kraal Road.  Upon reaching the intersection with Fairweather Street, he was approached from behind by a man on bicycle, who fired a single shot at him that hit his right upper back. The suspect then continued riding down Kut Avenue heading in the direction of Kraal Road and made good his escape. Hemmans was rushed to the Karl Heusner memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical officer.

While police investigation continues, the streets seem to have determined that the shooting of Hemmans was retaliation for the shooting of Arlene Banner’s house. Though they were recently neighbours and friends, Hemmans is tied to the Supaul Street gang and the brother of the injured Pinto is affiliated with a rival group. The area is being plagued by an intense gang war that includes several different gangs. The area remains hostile.