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Double murder on Electric Avenue

Black Immigrant Daily News

Photo: Cleon Smith, Jr., deceased

Kendale Ramirez, 30, and Cleon Smith, Jr., 26, were executed in broad daylight while sitting inside an SUV on Electric Avenue in the St. Martin De Porres area shortly after noon on Sunday, December 4.

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Dec. 4, 2022

Shots rang out in broad daylight on Sunday, December 4, in the St. Martin De Porres area of Belize City, where two men, identified as Cleon “CJ Tush” Smith, Jr., 26, of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District, and Kendale “Snakey” Ramirez, 30, of Seine Bight Village, Stann Creek District, were wounded numerous times by a storm of bullets that were fired at the SUV in which they were sitting while Smith waited to pick up his 3-year-old son.

According to initial reports, Smith went to pick up his son at his ex-girlfriend’s home on Electric Avenue, but when he reached her house, an argument ensued between Smith and his ex in the presence of her current boyfriend. Smith was told that his child wasn’t ready and that he needed to return later, which he ultimately did. Shortly after noon, Smith returned driving a red KIA Sorento SUV along with Ramirez in the passenger seat and parked on the left side of the street, with the vehicle facing Mahogany Street, when they were ambushed by a gunman who fired shots in the direction of the vehicle while both men were inside.

Both men’s bodies were later extracted from the SUV and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where the two men were pronounced dead on arrival. The murder scene was processed, and several expended shell casings and slugs were retrieved.

Today, Monday, December 5, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told members of the local media that further investigations will be done and that both the mother of Smith’s child and her current boyfriend will be questioned to determine whether either was involved in orchestrating the murder.

While no concrete motive for the shooting has been established, police are considering the possibility that the incident may be gang-related, since there are reports that Smith, who was charged earlier this year with “being a member of a gang”, was affiliated with the Long Beach Crips gang in Placencia.

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Communications Director of the Belize Police Department, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, reassured the public that the Police Department has already taken steps to ensure no retaliation takes place.

“We have officers that have been tasked with certain assignments, and while this is not believed to be of a gang nature, we cannot rule out that people are related to Mr. Smith and would definitely want to seek revenge,” he said.

While police are trying to solve this latest murder, a video of the murder scene is being circulated via social media and ASP Yearwood stated that the video violates the Belize Police Department’s media policy and that the matter will be dealt with internally.