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Elaborate setup, gang rivalry behind weekend murder

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Posted: Monday, November 2, 2020. 8:50 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: There is a complicated tale behind the murder of 32-year-old Kareem Gillett, shot dead Saturday night at the corner of Allan Pitts Crescent, and the death of 23-year-old Tareek Smith, apparently in the same incident. It involves a targeted, planned ambush that became a shoot-out.

“A group of young men from the Jerusalem area – this would be the extension – had rented two vehicles from an auto rental in Belize City, earlier in the day, with the intention of carrying out some shootings within the Southside area of Belize City,” explained Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in a news briefing.

“They went to Gillett’s residence and pretended to be purchasing weed. When Gillett came out he was fired upon, and a person who was with Gillett returned fire, causing Smith’s fatal injuries.”

Smith was hit in the back. Both men died within minutes of each other at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

At this point, police are treating Gillett’s death as murder and Smith’s as a death investigation, as according to the Commissioner, the shooter of Smith was acting in self-defense and to protect others. His weapon was reportedly illegal, but that makes no difference under the law.

As for what caused the violence, the Commissioner ascribed it to a rivalry between Southside (Gangsters, or SSG), Rocky Road, and Jerusalem. Several persons are in custody and being interviewed, and a specialized team has been put together to address the feud.

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