There were four shooting incidents in a span of approximately 12 hours in Belize City over the weekend. But it was the last one that has shocked the nation, and particularly the sporting world. 42 year old Ernest Dwayne “Jawmeighan” Meighan was visiting family on George Street in Belize City around 11:35 a.m., in his white Tacoma pickup truck, and while he was standing in front of the residence, according to police, a man in a white t-shirt approached from behind and fired a single gunshot to the back of his head. Immediately sent to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Ernest Meighan would be pronounced dead on arrival around five minutes later. A single expended shell was retrieved from the scene. With more on the moment of Ernest Meighan’s fatal injury here is his boss and cycling promoter Santino Castillo.
“As I understand, I have spoken to the members of his family, who live on George Street, Jawmeighan went there about quarter past 10, and received a phone call, went to the room and spoke to the person who called him, picked up his clothes which were washed. He picked up a 5 gallon to go fill it with water. He was in his truck, came down the steps, put it in his car, turned around to close the gate, and he was shot in the back of the head. His 15 year old daughter was the first one to see him fall, and called out to her mother, who came done. She told me that Jawmeighan was still gasping for air when she held him, and they ask some neighbors to take him to the hospital. By the time he got there he was dead.”
Santino Castillo got the news from a cycling friend, and contacted Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who relayed the terrible confirmation moments later. Speaking later with reporters, an emotional Mr Castillo confirmed that his friend and cycling teammate of 25 years, who worked for him at Santiago Castillo, Ltd., had been recently threatened with his life, in regard to last week’s murder of 16 year old Chryslin Gladden. A 17 year old female minor was arrested and charged along with 23 year old Clement Bol, Jr., in connection with that murder, and police have indicated that they believe the gunman was acting in retaliation for that death. But according to Mr Castillo, Jawmeighan did not take the threat seriously. He told us why.
Santiago “Santino” Castillo Jr
“The truth is that I can’t say how it was communicated, or let me say that I’d rather not. But it was communicated, so much so that he was told by many friends, including me, to be careful and to stay away from George Street.
He told me ‘Boss, I have my life to live. I can’t hide for something I am not responsible for. I don’t condone any actions of any of my children.’
Let me make it clear to the public that Jawmeighan was not involved in any type of crime. He was a good, clean, citizen of Belize, worked, made his pay, was not involved, no smoke weed, no smoke cigarette. He was a good father, a good brother, a good uncle, a good grandfather. He loved his little two years old granddaughter.
In no way did he condone anything that happened by anyone that was involved in any crime, any of his family members.”
The loss of a second cycling buddy in 100 days, after the death of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton on April 15, prompted Santiago Castillo to issue a very serious call.
Santiago “Santino” Castillo Jr
“I would say that they took an innocent man’s life. Jawmeighan is not involved in the world of gangs. Jawmeighan was not in involved in any kind of crime and, quite honestly, quite this thing ’bout ‘If I can’t catch Peter, I will catch his shirt’ has to stop.” The crime on a whole has to stop.
I will end this interview by saying something that might get me into trouble, because as you know I’m also a Minister of Government, but I believe that although it will have international repercussions, the Government needs to take a stand where crime is concerned, and probably has to reconsider reinstating the death penalty.”