Student Athlete Murdered In OW




Our headline story on Friday was about the murder of a promising 19 year old university student in Belize City, and tonight's headline is about the killing of another promising young man - this one a 20 year old student - athlete in Orange Walk Town.
He's Dwayne Cummings-Avila, well-known and well-loved in Orange Walk as a rising basketball star for the hometown semi pro team, the Orange Walk Running Rebels. Just after midnight on Saturday, after the Rebels lost, he was walking home when someone shot him once to the head.

It's a mystifying murder for a young athlete who had no involvement in criminal activity.

Our news team travelled to that northern town today to look for answers, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Raul Rosado - Manager/CEO, Orange Walk Running Rebels
"He had great qualities of a young man, a very exemplary young man, someone that, you know, although he was a young person, you'd want to say, 'I wish my son or my daughter would follow in those paths.'"

Roger Reneau - Basketball Teammate
"Dwayne was definitely one of our best players in Orange Walk. He works hard both on and off the court, a very humble person. If you know Dwayne personally, of if you see Dwayne, he's always smiling, and if you're around him, he makes you smile. He brings the happiness to the team, and he brings the hard work and dedication to the team."

Raheem Cummings - Cousin of the Deceased
"Everyone knows [that] Dwayne was destined for greatness. He could have achieved anything he worked for."

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Though he was only 20, Orange Walk residents were already expecting big things for Dwayne Cummings - who police have identified as Dwayne Avila. But all that promise will never be realized because his life was cut short by gun violence on Saturday night.

As a player on the Orange Walk Running Rebels, he suited up for Saturday Night's game at the Orange Walk Multi-Sports Complex.

They lost that game, and Cummings left the complex walking. He was on his way home, when someone shot him to the left side of the head.

ACP Joseph Myvette - Head, NCIB
"Shortly after midnight, on Saturday, Orange Walk police was called to an area on the San Lorenzo Road area, where, on an off-road, they discovered the apparent lifeless body of Dwayne Avila, who reside in that said area. Our investigation so far has indicated that the deceased was at the basketball game at the stadium, and shortly after 11 p.m., he left the area of the game on foot, walking alone."

Jules Vasquez reporter
"Was he killed at the location where he was found, from what the investigations have found out so far? Or was he killed elsewhere - we know he lives nearby - and then taken there?"

ACP Joseph Myvette
"We are still trying to determine that as witnesses in that immediate vicinity reported the sound of gunshots just before the body was discovered."

"When he was found, all his personal belongings were found beside him."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"So then, most likely, robbery was not a motive."

ACP Joseph Myvette
"At this point in time, we are looking at it that that may not have been the motive."

Those closest to Dwayne want an explanation for his killing because from all appearances, he stayed far away the street life.

Delcia Cummings - Mother of the Deceased
"Answers, all I want is answers. The only reason I am doing this - because I honestly said that I wouldn't speak. I don't want to go through this, but I just need answers. I just want somebody to come and tell me what did he do to deserve this. I don't even need to sit here and say what type of person Dwayne was. Everybody knows him, and everyone loved him. Dwayne had so many different families in Orange Walk. So many different persons I can sit here and say were his mothers, treated him like family."

Raheem Cummings
"Dwayne was a person who was always easy-going, always happy. [I've] never heard of Dwayne getting in any kind of conflict. Never ever. And if he did, I would be the first one he would come to because he looked up to me like a big brother."

This friends and loved-ones remember him most for his talent and his love of basketball. They say that he was always doing his best to sharpen his skills, so that he could step on the court and help his team win games.

Raheem Cummings
"He took it as a passion. The first thing as he gets up, he wants a ball. He wants to go on the court. Most of the time, if you talk to people, they'd say, 'Dwayne alone is at the Housing Site basketball court, shooting shots by himself, working on his game."

Raul Rosado - Manager/CEO, Orange Walk Running Rebels
"He was a crucial part of the organization, and the team, because he was an up-and-coming rising star, a local star. He had a bright future when it came to basketball."

Police have deployed additional manpower in the hopes of bringing closure to his friends and family.

ACP Joseph Myvette
"Police have detained 2 persons. We are looking at several surveillance footage, while we continue to look for witnesses. We had also detained several persons where their vehicles were impounded, and those vehicles were processed."

"We are in close communication with the family, and we have dispatched additional investigators on the ground in order to try and come to a conclusions in relation to this case, and bring those responsible to justice."

Notably, Cummings did not play in the game on Saturday night - and at the time of his death, his jersey was in his knapsack - along with his personal property including two cell phones. As you heard police say, there was no robbery. Notably, a .38 bullet that appeared to have been fired was found near the body.

Today, the Muffles High School in Orange Walk joined the rest of the community in lamenting the murder of Dwayne Cummings.

In a press release the school says, quote, "Muffles College High School joins the OW community in condemning the acts of violence against our young people which as a result took the life of young Dwayne Cummings. Dwayne was an outstanding student athlete at Muffles College, he led his team to rejoice in many victories, he and was the recipient of the Eloy Avila Athlete of the Year award at graduation in 2014. He remained an active friend of Muffles College by assisting in the coaching of our varsity teams‚€¶ We will miss Dwayne dearly, but his memory will remain engraved in our hearts and in the song of every basketball game that is played by our school."

The University of Belize also issued a statement, saying, quote, "the UB community has suffered, yet again, another tragic loss of one of our young and promising students - Dwayne Cummings - due to gun violence‚€¶.Dwayne was a well-loved, out-going and an exceptional student athlete at the University of Belize. He played basketball for the UB Jaguars and was pursuing an Associate in Business. UB's Head coach, Mr. Darren Bovell, said of him "‚€¶he was one of the humblest, shy and soft spoken players he had ever coached. He played the game the right way, with a smile on his face and good sportsmanship."

The statement goes unto say, "These senseless killings must stop. It is destroying the fabric of our society, especially our promising young students."

And the National Elite Basketball League also put out a statement. It says, "Mr. Cummings was the runner-up last year for the Rookie of the Year Award, as this young man demonstrated great potential and such great positive vibes on the basketball court. His jovial demeanor, huge smile, mannerisms and level of respect easily stood out to his teammates, peers, coaches and fans."