Man gunned down outside home in Roaring Creek

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The streets have been relatively quiet for the past couple of weeks, but that all came to a halt on Friday when a resident of Roaring Creek was shot dead in front of his home. Shadel Dyer-Young reports.

Shadel Dyer-Young:

34 year old Nigel Neal, lost his life this morning, after he was lay waited and gunned down in front of his residence in the village of Roaring Creek. He had only recently returned home from a routine trip to Belmopan – but on this particular day, according to a friend of the victim, Neal had a heightened anxiety that something grave was to come.

Friend of Deceased: [paraphrased]

This morning, just after 7, my friend asked me to take him to Belmopan.  So I told him I have to go to the junction only, and I can’t take him to Belmopan.  He asked me to take him to Belmopan, because he knew something would happen to him.  He said they have a hit on him, due to an incident that happened right here in Roaring Creek.  When I returned, I didn’t meet him at the junction again.  I saw him in a car.   So I went upstairs to drink some water.  I heard about 5 to 6 gunshots. My daughter ran out and said “Daddy, ‘Blue’ is dead.  They shot him.” I said “No.  He can’t be dead. Not so quick.”

His mother, Alice Burgess, was out at the Belmopan market when her eldest son delivered the ill-fated news no parent wants to hear.

vlcsnap-2013-09-09-07h36m39s6Alice Burgess – Mother of Deceased:

While I was there, I saw the Police jeep coming this way.  I said “I wonder what happened.  I hope it’s not my two sons in any problem.”  I was over there at that stall.  I went over to buy some vegetables.  While I’m there, the girl was getting the vegetables, my oldest son came towards my crying.  So I said, “What happened?”  He said. “Mammy, they killed Nigel.”  I said, What?”  He said, “Yes.”  I couldn’t take it.  I started crying.  He told me, “Let’s go home.” 

What awaited the grieving mother was a grisly and surreal scene. Her youngest son laying lifeless on the street as her neighbors and authorities swarmed the area.

Alice Burgess – Mother of Deceased:

When I came home, I saw a lot of Police out here. He was lying on the ground, right in front of the yard, covered up. I couldn’t take it.  I started crying, because he always told me, he said, “Mommy, they don’t like me here, and I’m not doing nobody nothing.  I would like to go away from this village,”  He said, “I used to be in PG, doing mechanic work, and I make my money.  But here I’m not doing nothing.  I want to go.”  He don’t go out in the night, because they were threatening him, and tell him he’s going to die soon, and they’re going to kill him.  So he said, “I’m not happy here.  I don’t want to go out there.    

But why would anyone want to harm Neal? Turning him into a person his family says, was so scared for his life that he steered clear of company and late night outings. Neal believed there was a hit out on him in retaliation for a recent killing in the village. Something he swore he had no involvement in.

Alice Burgess – Mother of Deceased:

I don’t know.  Probably it’s the people that are threatening him.  Because he always get message from people and say that they’re going to kill him.  They don’t like him, because he know about some death that happen in the village.  He swear to all this God and kneel down, and he ask God why he let them blame him for nothing that he don’t know about, for something that he don’t know about.  He cry and tell me say, “I don’t do it, and I know nothing about it.   So why they have to blame me for things that I don’t know about?”

According to Police and his mother, Neal has had quite a few run-ins with the law, but for the most part they were in relation to more misdemeanor offenses.

vlcsnap-2013-09-09-08h08m59s233Inspector Sinquest Martinez –  O/C, Belmopan Police:

I will not say he is known for us as a trouble maker, but he has been in and out of the Belmopan Police Station.  He was a deportee, and he have ruin-ins with the law.  So he is well known to us.

 

Alice Burgess – Mother of Deceased:

He has enemies, but he wasn’t giving no trouble the past couple of years now. 

His trip to Belmopan was a routine one for the now deceased, because he required to sign in daily at the local precinct after he was charged with robbery. His family believes that his killer or killers learned his comings and goings and awaited for an opportune time. Police have since detained two men found hiding in the Guanacaste Park area who match the descriptions of the bandits. It is believed that the gunman, after shooting Neal, ran to meet his accomplice in a nearby field and the two fled off. As one witness told us, Neal’s brother attempted to run down the men.

Female Witness:

One guy, one short Spanish, run in, and the brother of this guy was behind him with a machete.  But he didn’t caught up with him, as the little one run faster that the tall one.  He was barefooted and everything. 

At the center of the day’s misfortune is a a heartbroken mother who is left with only the memory of someone who was not only her son, but was also her friend.

Alice Burgess – Mother of Deceased:

I would remember him a lot because he’s the one that cooks for me when I’m not feeling good. He would tell me to go and sit down, because he would cook and he always cooked for me.  Yesterday he did so.  I will miss him a lot.

Reporting for PlusNews, Shadel Dyer-Young.

Nigel Neal would have turned 35 next month.

Update: Police have since arrested and charged 20 year old Guatemalan Erlin Archiaga with the crime of murder.

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