Ras Cobra shot dead, shooter escapes in boat
There has not been a murder since April third when police constable Bertchel Ramirez was executed in Roaring Creek…but it got deadly in San Pedro on Thursday night. The community today is reeling from the murder of Rastafarian woodcarver, Eugene Lockwood also known as Ras Cobra, who was shot to death by masked men who fled in a getaway boat. It is believed the murder was motivated by drugs, but that the victim was not the wanted man. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today to an eye witness.
Marlon Usher, Friend of Deceased
“I was surprised mein. I couldn’t believe it, you know. A man could just be right here and next minute he’s just gone. It’s just surprising to me.”
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
The heartless murder of Ras Cobra, in San Pedro Town on Thursday night, has left the Rastafarian community on the island in an utter state of disbelief. Eugene Lockwood, as he is formally known, was standing at the corners of Glitter and Swan streets in the company of Derrick Samuels when they were blindsided by their assailants. An eyewitness saw the entire ordeal unfold from a nearby residence.
Voice of: Eyewitness
“I was in my room minding my own business when something told me to go outside and look. I saw a boat coming [with] four men, three of them were kind of dark complexioned, not too dark, another one was like clear skinned, Spanish you’d say. So I saw the Spanish one and another dread one walked up the boat and the other two stayed there. Shortly after that I saw the dread and the Spanish man walking underneath where I stay and then I saw the dread talking to the Spanish man but they were disguised so I already knew something was going to happen because the other one had a mask and a fitted cap on.”
Shortly thereafter, the successive report of what has been described as a nine millimeter handgun registered as many as four shots.
Voice of: Eyewitness
“After that I saw the dread ran left the Spanish one and the Spanish one came from behind but the dread got in the boat and the boat took off and when the Spanish one reached the boat was already taking off so he just jumped in the lagoon and started swimming. That’s when the other neighbors and thing started to come out.”
While the shooter swam towards the waiting vessel, onlookers poured into the street where the body of the thirty-nine year old woodcarver lay motionless in a vacant lot. Lockwood had been hit in the lower left abdomen. In trying to flee his attackers he ran but did not make it very far before collapsing.
Voice of: Eyewitness
“What touched me is the way, you know, he just lies there for all those hours. How comes the police couldn’t just get there and deal with weh dehn haffi deal with and take the guy to the hospital and try get him to Belize City, you know.”
The shooting, according to the eyewitness, may have been over the sale of drugs; however, he believes that Ras Cobra was not the person they wanted.
“Ras Cobra wasn’t the intended target. He was just like other customers because they sell weed on that block so a lot of people go and buy their little weed, you know and the shop sells fonto. They go and buy dehn lee fonto then they go. But he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time honestly, you know. He da noh wah trouble person, everybody knows that he live on the island di sell carvings, you know, do ih lee hustling but he da noh wah street person then, you know, into violence and like that.”
The spike in violent crimes on the island, says Mayor Daniel Guerrero, has prompted the San Pedro Town Council to look at more stringent solutions, including random hotel room checks, as well as visitor profiling.
Daniel Guerrero,San Pedro Town Mayor
“It’s hard for me to tell if they are from the island. I know that they are probably living here but they might not be the real islanders but it’s drug-related, you know, people from [the island who sell] drugs they really move around and that’s what’s happening and it’s happening countrywide. Unfortunately, it happened here but I’m really serious about it and I will tackle it very hard and it might not be a popular decision to do maybe but I will expose myself to it and I just hope that I get the backup of the community. We really need to fight this crime.”
Derrick Samuels was fortunate to have survived the violent attack. He has been admitted to ward with a gunshot wound to his left lower back. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.