During our newscast on Tuesday night, PlusNews received information of the shooting death of a Camalote resident. Our camera crew hurried to the scene during the newscast and brought us preliminary information and pictures before the news ended. But by the time our newscast was finished, there was another murder in Camalote Vilage. Now Belmopan Police are investigating its second double homicide within less than three days. On Tuesday night, two men were gunned down just yards away from each other in the Good Living Ranch area of Camalote Village. The first shooting occurred shortly before 5pm and took the life of villager Juan Olmedo. PlusNews spoke with his common-law wife on Tuesday who says that the two ran a small food business – where she would cook and he would go out and sell the food. On that day, they had arranged to meet at their house around 4 o’clock so the two could go to the local market. Burgess recollected for us what transpired when she arrived home.
Ms. Lorraine Burgess- Common Law Partner of the Deceased Victim
“…But when I come home, as I reach, he reach too with the food, and he, tell me he said Lor’, I no sell all the food, I only bring back four, so I tellah, Juan, just put it pahn dih table deh. So while we deh by the washing machine, he dih wait fuh me mek I get ready for my clothes on searching for my clothes. While searching I hear he she, wat up G? But I wan know who hinn dih talk to, but when I liff up my head, I see the masked man don deh by my washing machine already don gat the gun pointing at us”.
According to Lorraine Burgess, the gunman, who was wearing a mask, huddled her, one of her daughters and her son together near the kitchen stove, and that was when he reportedly placed the gun at Juan Olmedo asking for money.
Ms. Lorraine Burgess
“The masked man put the gun and e tell him, weh dih money but I tel the masked man we no hav money; only the food weh we have weh we just sell, see the food ya you want it? No. I want dih money, so e demand my bway fuh dih money, so hinn dih insist and e di tell hee no money no deh. So, when hin seh dat, he point the gun at him and tell him, I no have time fuh play right now! Run dih money or else we ahn get shoot, all ah we ahn get dead. So, my lee gal staat to cry ah e she no don’t shoot my ma’! Please, no shoot my ma’. Ah wah giv you the money and by the time I gone get the money, I just hear tree gunshot don shoot my bway, e drop”.
Juan Olmedo succumbed to his injuries inside his home. Lorraine Burgess believes that the sole motive was robbery, and that because her common-law may have recognized the robber, he turned the gun on Mr Olmedo. Now fearing for her and her children’s lives, Ms Burgess says she ran and grabbed all monies they had in the house, including money Mr Olmedo had on him at the time.
Ms. Lorraine Burgess
“…and when I gone search fuh dih money, I went and I tek out the money outtah fuh he pocket, e tree change and I meh gat my ones eenah my wallet and I tek out all the moneys and I give it to ah, and when I give he the money , he just run through gthe door with the money, but he gat the money pan my head fuh mek I get the money for ah, and if I no givah the money, da me mih ahn get shoot too! But my lee gal dih beg, please mek e no shoot me, that’s why, I give deh all the money weh I have. Now ehn I hear the three gunshot, I’m standing right here standing watching him shoot him! Watching right deh…eenah e eye I di watcha how e dih shootah”.
The gunman then ran a few yards out into some bushes, where it is believed he met up with 37 year old Oscar Leonel Benitz, a Honduran national who has vocal and hearing impairments. Mr Benitz was on his way home on his bicycle from a milpa farm about half a mile away. It is suspected that Juan Olemdo’s killer had removed his mask during his getaway and that Oscar Benitz may have seen his face and so he shot him. We spoke to his grieving mother Tuesday afternoon, who believes her son was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. She says that her son was due back from the farm around 5 that evening and when he failed to come home, his neighbor went looking for him and made the gruesome discovery.
Mrs. Bertha Diaz- Mother of the Deceased (Interpreted from Spanish to English)
“I went to the bush to look for my son and I did not find him. Afterwards we sought help from other persons that decided to seek him but when I saw them come back and told him, he’s already dead. Because I did not know what to do, we had to call the police. He is a quiet person and does not get into no kind of trouble with the police or nobody. His friends liked him, because maybe it’s the same person that killed Olmedo, maybe he killed him by mistake or maybe my son spotted him without a mask, and thus, that he would not report him to the police, then they did that against him.
Both men, who live right beside each other, received three gunshot wounds, Oscar Benitz to the face and Juan Olmedo to various parts of his body. Police continue their investigations.