Last night, another man was shot and killed in Belize City. Reports are that shots rang out on Central American Boulevard and when it subsided , 42-year-old Andrew Ian Bennett, A.K.A. “Hard Rock” was dead. According to police reports, at approximately 7:43 p.m. last night, Bennett was at the bus stop when a male person approached him firing several shots that hit Bennett in his head and body. The family is still in shock and disbelief that their loved one is gone. Bennett’s sister, Tashira Nicholas, recalls where she was when she got the news.
Tashira Nicolas, Sister of Victim: I was at the festival of arts for my baby when I got the call that my brother was shot. I couldn’t believe it because he wasn’t in any kind of gang. He was a very active person in his community. He loved his music, play basketball, always the try encourage the youths in the community to not play with gun, don’t have any frustration, take it out on the court and play ball. He always is encouraging so it really hit us hard.
Bennett was a DJ at Krem and his employer, Mose Hyde, was also shocked to hear of Bennett’s murder.
Mose Hyde, KREM: You know I wake up middle of the night and saw the messages and I was like, I really couldn’t put my head around it you know- Hard Rock get shot down you know. Hard Rock da no gangster, he never di live da life. If you know Hard Rock you know that that’s a man with latta jokes. When we meet we mia have talkings of who da the better Dj and I mia tell her member he da after me you get your name from me, you get inspired, you put Rock inna yoh name and all, which wasn’t true but we’d mess with one another like that.
Mose Hyde, KREM: The man open up his home fi youths. So he’d be one of the examples for the community providing a space for our youths to find a way forward. The irony of it really just slap yoh headside like a 2 x 4, it’s just mad. Blvd. experience da when Hard Rock mi tek out the projector and they turn the house side into a theatre; from NBA playoffs, the community come by and watch the game and enjoy the vibes. Just extraordinary fi know that that tha the kinda consciousness that that youth deh have without acknowledgment, without the seek props without the limelight, without any kinda support. That da how he live his life, so you just know that they can’t be no justice in the world fi a man like that live his life that way, concerned about his community and then that da the way the man gaan out.
Losing Bennett in this way has really hit his family hard with him being the only male child of his parents. The senseless crime has also left three children without a father. Police investigations continue. Meanwhile, our colleagues at Krem are in mourning as Bennet was not only a friend but one of their DJ’s and sound technician. It is noteworthy to mention that this is the second employee that Kremandala has lost to gun violence within 2 years. In July 2015, 27 year old Kareem Jabbor Clarke was executed at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets while riding his bicycle