Thursday, April 9th 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: 25 year old Mark Anthony Rhamdas Jr., also known as “Judas,” became the latest target of murder in Belize City.
In the last two weeks there have been three shooting incidents in the general vicinity of Albert Street West, Berkeley Street and East Canal, centered around an alley starting off Albert Street West and extending around to Berkeley Street.
On March 30, Jaime Chavarria was shot and killed in this alley while returning from a Chinese store where he had gone to buy.
Three days later, Winston Baptist was shot but survived in the same area.
On Wednesday evening, Rhamdas and his common-law wife, 21 year old Etheline Mejia, were riding his motorcycle along with their three-year-old son back to his residence in the alley at #39 Albert Street West when they were set upon by someone who fired several gun shots from behind them.
Rhamdas was shot in the left side of the chest and foot, while Mejia was hit to the left foot and left buttocks.
Today police say they have taken in one person in custody and are laying the foundations of their investigation. Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero, officer in charge of Criminal Investigation Branch for Eastern Division, told reporters at a briefing that police are reviewing surveillance footage from the surrounding area and are pursuing angles and leads including the fact that Rhamdas’ killer may have laid in wait for him.
This afternoon we spoke with family of Rhamdas who asked to remain anonymous. They say he was with his family socializing in the evening when he left along with his son to go pick up Mejia from her workplace and it was on their return that the entire family was shot at.
Rhamdas instinctively sheltered his son and took the majority of the five gunshots targeted at the family, while Mejia, now in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was hit as she went down on the ground to shelter her son.
According to the family Rhamdas kept to himself and did not talk much about his personal affairs, so they are not aware if and in any case do not believe he knew if anyone was after him. He was not associated with gangs and kept out of trouble apart from charges of drug trafficking and robbery levied against him for separate incidents in 2012.
But they also pointed out that police have picked him up several times in the last few weeks in relation to several shooting incidents in the Albert Street/Berkeley Street/East Canal radius. Police investigations continue.
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