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Thu, June 10, 2010
After the prime minister's law partner was very nearly killed in a failed execution attempt 10 days ago - we thought we had seen the high mark for crime, that it couldn't get any worse than that. But this morning it did as one of the city's most notorious gang leaders was slain in front of the courthouse building. 24 year old Andre Trapp, the leader of the Southside Gangsters which is based in the Yabra Area - the same man who was targeted in a grenade attack in January - was executed this morning at 10:20 in the parking lot of the magistrate's court. It is a crime that seems to have been staged to send the maximum message of complete lawlessness and truly unprecedented brazen-ness. Monica Bodden was on the scene.
A gaggle of city residents lined Regent Street this morning as to view the lifeless body of 24 year old Andre Trapp being carried away by police officers. The notorious leader of the Southside Gangsters was gunned down in the parking lot behind the courthouse building at around 10 o'clock this morning.
Trapp was at the magistrate's court for a charge of possession of a controlled drug and had just left the court and was walking to this gold suburban, when two gunmen came out of this Ford Ranger, strode up to him and fired a reported six to eight shots hitting him in the chest area.
Trapp was likely mortally wounded, but he managed to run from his shooters - he stumbled to the front of the courthouse and collapsed face down in front of the Regent Street entrance to court #2….the symbolism, overwhelming: he was slain in broad daylight in front of the seat of the judiciary, where over 20 police officers and 5 security guards work daily.
Bill Jones, Eyewitness
"I was standing up there by the stairway on the courthouse and we were sitting on the veranda when we heard this bam bam bam and I rush out and I saw this guy running coming from behind the court building there."
"He was already shot at that time?"
"Yeah he was already shot."
"Do you recall how many gunshots you heard?"
"I heard roughly about 5 or 6 somewhere around that area. But it happens so fast that it was kind of hard to tell. But definitely it was 5 to 6 gunshots."
The blood stains on this cement were all that was left when his father arrived on the scene. He asked to appear off camera:
Sigmond Trapp, Father
"I was at Mirab there when we saw the ambulance left the tourist village under speed. We ask why it was leaving so fast. A person came and says that there were a shooting at the magistrate's court. At the end of the day I didn't felt that it was somebody concerning me. A friend of mine who work inside Mirab by the name of Bash came out and he ask me what was going on, he then call his brother who works there, I then talk to his brother and he told me that it was my son that just got shot. Immediately I went to the hospital and I saw where they were wheeling him into the morgue. After that I decided to come out here and see what is happening."
The aftermath of the dramatic, unprecedented execution event played out for more than an hour as heavily armed police and BDF locked down the area and processed the scene.
In the end police apprehended one of the suspected gunmen near Bellevue Hotel.
Andre Trapp seen here with his daughter in January after a grenade was detonated in front of his family home was a charismatic and cool character. The former SJC student was also a natural leader.
Being the leader of one of the most Notorious gangs in the city, Sigmond Trapp say the news of his son's death came as no surprise to him.
"It was something that was on coming a long time and I speak to him about it many times and I advise to get away from Belize City because we knew at the end of the day this would have been the finishing of the whole scenario. But you know hope these young men are they feel like they are very notorious and they feel that they can prove their point within their ranks. It was something that I was prepare for a long time, it wasn't surprising to me."
The real surprise was for those who witnessed the early morning tragedy - they are still left in disbelief - as no one expected to witness an execution in front of the Courthouse.
"I didn't expect this to happen at least not here at the court ground. That's what make it so terrible for me."
And now with this stunning event, once more, the unthinkable has become real - and it's left to see what security forces can do to make sure it never happens again…..
Police have one man detained and are seeking one more. It is of note that the gold Suburban Trapp was attending court in is the same one whose windows were blown out when a grenade exploded 15 feet from it in January.
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- Joined: June 14th, 2010, 7:34 am
- Country: Belize
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