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Oct 5, 2017

Canadian Gabriel Buchnia Shot Dead in Corozal

Gabriel Buchnia

Up north in Corozal, a bloody murder took place in the quiet community of Chula Vista, smacked between Altamira and Paraiso Villages on Wednesday night. The heavy rains and thunderstorm did not prevent a gunman from carrying out what is believed to be an orchestrated hit on thirty-eight-year-old Canadian construction consultant and father of three. Gabriel Bochnia, who has been living in Belize for almost a decade was murdered in the presence of his wife and three children as they returned from a trip across the border. The gunman is known to Bochnia and his family. News Five’s Duane Moody headed north and files this report. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Around ten-thirty on Wednesday night, thirty-eight-year-old Gabriel Bochnia returned home with his wife, Jeshanah Zetina, and their three children—ages three, six and nine. They had just arrived from Chetumal where he dropped off his parents who were traveling back to Canada after visiting for ten days in Belize. It was dark because there was a blackout in the area due to heavy rains and thunderstorm overnight.  As the Canadian construction consultant alighted his blue pickup truck, a gunman, whom he recognized as a former employee and who had recently been released from prison, ran up to him and fired a single shot that caught Bochnia on his side. Bochnia collapsed on the muddy ground outside his vehicle in the presence of his wife and children.

 

Voice of: Neighbor

“This happened about ten-thirty. I was in my house and then I heard a noise and I opened my window and I peep and I see Gabriel dropping. So what I did is open my door and I came out. But when I hear another gunshot I ran inside again. I see my mom coming out and I told her don’t come out and when I peep through the window again, I see this girl coming to us and she’s screaming. So I just opened the door again and I went to help her. When I reach there, I just see this guy was full of blood. So I just tried to help them.”

 

The family’s friend and neighbor along with her sister ran to Zetina’s aid, placed Bochnia into the cab of the pickup and rushed him to the Corozal Community Hospital for medical treatment. He was later transported to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk for surgery but succumbed around five-thirty this morning. But even as Bochnia was shot, Zetina shouted out to his killer, by the name ‘Polo,’ who then turned the gun on her, but it misfired. The gunman escaped through a bushy path that leads to the Ricalde Stadium.

 

Gabriel Buchnia

Voice of: Neighbor

“They told us that he is injured bad and they have to take him to Orange Walk. And so we just tried to have the kids with us because the three kids were with us. So we just tried to have them with us and take care of them.”

 

Duane Moody

“So this happened right over there and he was with his wife and their three kids?”

 

Voice of: Neighbor

“Yes they were coming in from Chetumal. They went to take his parents to Chetumal so they can go back to Canada. So they didn’t get into the house or nothing. Coming down from the pickup, this person shot on him and he dropped right there. And his wife dropped and everything; it was something that happened fast because I just opened my door and then I heard the other gunshot. It was a blackout so how the rain and the thunder, we couldn’t see what was happening. But when the lightning came, we saw the person on the floor and that is what helped us to go and help this lady. If not I don’t know what would have happened with this girl because she alone couldn’t pick him up.”

 

Bochnia hemorrhaged profusely in the presence of his family, who have been left traumatized by the incident. It’s a frightening ordeal for residents who say that he was not known to have enemies.

 

Voice of: Neighbor

“It’s frightening because we just see this man like four-thirty and he was taking his parents so we didn’t expect this to happen and worse this hours. Actually I was not sleeping and I see the flash of his vehicle on my house, so I heard a vehicle was coming but I didn’t know he was out of his house. But when I heard the noise and everything and I peep, I see him dropping on the floor.  Gabriel was a nice person; a working man, a man that look after his kids and his wife. I didn’t know Gabriel like a bad man. I know him like a good person.”

 

A motive for this latest homicide in Corozal is unknown at this time, but News Five understands that two persons, including the alleged killed ‘Polo’ and an American national are currently in police custody. Duane Moody for News Five.

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