7 News Belize

Arthur Young Killed By Police: Was It Extrajudicial?
posted (April 23, 2012)
And so the end of that meeting left us at Sunday afternoon. The situation then was that Arthur Young was on the run. 7news has confirmed that Young communicated to his attorney and police that he would turn himself in on Monday morning. But, Arthur young is considered to be one of the most cunning and daring figures in Belize's crime underworld - and police weren't about to wait around for him to show up at the police station.

Intelligence was received that he was hiding out in the Ladyville Area. An operation was launched and it led police to an abandoned home in Vista Del Mar. Jules Vasquez went there looking for answers - and found some disturbing ones:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
This is the abandoned house on Bonefish Avenue in Vista Del Mar where Arthur Young was hiding out. Last night around 11:00, police parked their vehicles nearby and walked to the house - declared their presence with a bullhorn - and then stormed in.

Police say Arthur YOUNG was found inside and attempted to escape, but was apprehended.

Residents say they saw police vigorously beating the person in the house - which has no curtains. They say he was brought out in cuffs- and then thrown into the back of a pickup.

From there, it gets unclear, but this is where he may have been killed about a half mile away at the entrance to Vista Del Mar where this bloodstain was seen on the street and residents saw police processing the area this morning.

Commissioner Henderson gave the media the official account this morning

David Henderson - Acting Commissioner of Police
"On Sunday, April 22, at about 11:15, based on information received that Arthur Young, leader of Taylor's Alley, who was wanted in the double murder of Shelton "Pinky" August of George Street, which occurred on Friday, April 20, 2012, was being harbored at a house owned by Robert Mariano on Bonefish Avenue, Vista Del Mar in the Ladyville area - based on that report, police officers were deployed to the area where he was apprehended. And during a struggle with the officers for their gun, he was fatally injured."

Now, residents told us they saw him handcuffed - so, if that is accurate, then he could have only reached for the gun if they took off the handcuffs.

And the official account says it happened in the pan of the police pickup, but then why the bloodstain on the street - assuming this is where he was killed.

Police would not discuss where he was killed or anything else:

Jules Vasquez
"How many times was Mr. Young shot, and was he shot as a suppressive measure, or was he shot as an accident resulting from the struggle?"

David Henderson
"Jules, in response to your questions, I must make it quite clear, that matter is presently under investigation, I believe that the police have sent out the details that are necessary, and as soon as the investigation is concluded, any further details will be given to you in a full briefing."

Jules Vasquez
"Sir, you understand that the concern of many persons I've spoken to this morning, are somewhat skeptical, and they feel intuitively - and this is an opinion - that it may be a type of state-sponsored execution. How do you respond to a criticism such as that?"

David Henderson
"I will not speculate. I will not jump to any conclusions. The matter is under investigation, and as soon as it is through, you will know the true facts, and you will get whatever you need to get."

Jules Vasquez
"However, sir, are you able to say if he was shot more than once, or just one time?"

David Henderson
"I have already made it quite clear; the matter is under investigation. As soon as we are through, we will give the details."

And while we won't hold our breath for that - police were guarding the morgue last night even as the questions about the circumstances of his death linger.

An important correction to what the commissioner said is that the home is not the residence or property of Robert Mariano. We spoke to the former cyclist in Chicago where he's been for almost a year. As we understand it, the home is currently the property of a lending institution and it is abandoned.

But, the important thing about this story is the circumstance of the killing. As you saw, police would simply not discuss the details of how many times Young was shot or where it happened.

When we asked the police press officer for details on where the supposed struggle occurred, he flatly refused to provide us details. But two reliable law enforcement sources have confirmed to us that Young was fatally shot right at the spot that we showed, the entrance to Vista Del Mar. From the appearance of it, he was not in the pan of the pickup, but on the road - and this is also confirmed by two sources.

So was there a struggle, or was it an extrajudicial killing? It is a question that must be asked but the only answer we'll get right now is, the deathless: "police are investigating."

Those who have seen the body say he was shot three times. Today, Young's associates on Taylor's Alley declined comment fearing reprisal's from the state.

Tomorrow, we'll take a more complete look at Arthur Young, one of the most complex, compelling crime characters Belize has known, a man with a magnetic personality- but also known in the streets as a ruthless killer.

That complete look will also reprise an old interview we did with him when he told us police were out to kill him - that was 3 years ago, but it has now proved grimly prophetic.

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