A Belize City cyclist was shot and killed in Belize City this afternoon in the Lake Independence area. At about 4 this evening, well-known cyclist Ernest Thurnton, also known as Danga Lang, was shot dead in Junesville, a housing community located just behind the Complex Building in Lake Independence.
We have been informed that Thurnton had just come off work at Santiago Castillo Limited, where he is employed as a messenger.
He had parked the company cycle in front of the house of a relative for whom he was house-sitting when he was killed by a single bullet.
The family strongly believes that the motive for the killing is robbery. Thurton’s sister, Francine Pitt’s spoke to the media.
Sister of the Deceased: “I hear dih ambilans and I seh, ah hope da nobody fuh me geh shat and as I reach huo’, I cal and dehn she dat my bredda jos get shat da bakka my aunti hous…da Jules Ville, and I came here and I saw dat it was him”.
Reporter: “Does he normally come here to check on the house?
Sister of the Deceased: “He is here every day; he is the one that is minding the house that is in the United States at this time. So, tree times aday, four times a day, he is here”.
Reporter: “I understand your brother is a hard worker; he was on the job, right?”
Sister of the Deceased: “Yes, he was on the job. All hin do ride the rcae and work for Santino. That’s all”.
Reporter: “Is he not a troublemaker?”
Sister of the Deceased: “No, he no hav no prablem wit nobady”.
Reporter: “Do you think he may have been robbed or targeted?”
Sister of the Deceased: “I tink maybe dehn tink e hav money or sonting and dehn jos taagetta and killa. That’s all”.
Reporter: “Could you tell us about the family that has been left behind by him?”
Sister of the Deceased: “I nuoa e hav e camman law waif and e kids dae and e mih abou fih gae married, that is all I could say. E hav six tuotal”.
Reporter: “How ole mih he?”
Sister of the Deceased: “He mih faati six”.
His employer, Minister Santi Castillo was at the scene of the crime this evening and spoke to the media as well.
Reporter: “We understand that he is an employee of yours”.
“Yeah, Ernest Thurnton, better known as Danga Lang started working with me about 20 years ago at Santino’s, was a rider on Team Santino’s, then transferred to San Cas when I did…and he was not a troublemaker at all”.
Reporter: “Can you confirm to us if he was on the job”?
Hon. Santino Castillo: “He was taking some checks. First of all, he handled no cash. He is a messenger and he took some checks to the Income Tax Department, and I understand he was caretaking his aunt’s house. So, he passed here either before or afterwards and he apparently was lay awaited at that time. It seems that he saw the guys, was running away from them (one of them left their slippers ‘caz I was right there at the crime scene and e fell under coconut tree dead, no? So, sad way we lose a life for a good guy. I mean, I just rode a race with him on Sunday, and although I am a member of the Government, I will say that we really have to address crime in Belize. I mean it is getting closer to all of our homes. Thanks, guys”.
Ernest Thurnton leaves behind six children – four daughters and two sons. His murder is the sixth in four days.