As we told you yesterday, a 17 year old minor of Belize City has been charged and remanded in relation to the July 6 murder of 27 year old Kareem Clarke, the Amandala journalist fatally shot early in the morning as he was riding home from a stop in the area of Vernon and Lakeview Streets. After two months of investigation by police, some of the questions surrounding Kareem’s death are answered, though it is difficult to say whether the answers will ever be satisfactory. Officer Commanding Eastern Division (South), Senior Superintendent of Police Chester Williams, details the breakthrough that led to the arrest of the minor.
Sr. Supt. Chester Williams: In relation to the investigative process, as I’ve also said to the media that we’ll be doing our utmost best to see if we could try and properly investigate the matter and to bring some sort of closure to the family. I must say that since that murder took place, we have been out there, we have been interviewing people and getting statements from people. We had a breakthrough about a week and couple days ago in relation to that investigation and yesterday we got a removal order from the Magistrate Court. We brought the person from prison, because he was in prison and he was formerly arrested and charged for the murder of Kareem Clark.
Reporter: Would you share what he was in prison for?
Reporter: Will you be able to tell us what motive you all have come up with for that man?
Sr. Supt. Chester Williams: Well we have not come up with a definitive motive, but from what we have been made to understand is that it was just done randomly. There was no basic motive behind it, and the person who we have arrested and charged is an associate of the PIV Gang, which is one of the gangs that are based in the St. Martins Area.
The witness is one that had been cooperating with police and witnessed the entire incident, and the statement is corroborated by a sworn statement from a Justice of the Peace, to guard against possible recanting at a future trial. As for the killer, he had been on remand on firearms charges in the immediate aftermath of Kareem’s death and had a history with police. Williams says police have definitively ruled out a deliberate hit, mistaken identity, or gang rivalry as motives for Clarke’s death. In his words, the killer and his group of friends apparently decided to target the first person that came by that night, and it happened to be Kareem.
Sr. Supt. Chester Williams: It would appear as if these persons were there, they were drinking, they were high. They just basically shot anybody who was passing by, so I had not said anything before in terms of saying Mr. Clark was not the intended target. That position that I said then, is still my position that I am taking now. It was just a random act.
Police continue to test several weapons in custody to find the murder weapon. They made no mention of possible accomplices or even a conspiracy in the case.