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Aug 28, 2002

Conch Shell Bay resident latest murder victim

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The echo of gunshots on the streets of Belize City has sadly become a fact-of-life, forcing many Belizeans to become unwilling witnesses to one murder after another. In the wee hours of morning today, the residents of Jones Alley in the Conch Shell Bay area was added to that now long list. Jacqueline Woods reports.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Authorities believe that just before 1:00 this morning, twenty-four year old Berrisford Rhaburn was lying on his sofa when someone knocked at his front door. The young man got up, opened the door…and was shot in the face.

Estell Bodden, Friend

“I understand that he got shot in his jaw and the bullet exited the neck, his throat.”

At the gory scene, there was a long trail of blood that Rhaburn left behind as he ran out of the house looking for help. He made his way along the veranda, down the steps and up Jones Alley onto West Collet Canal. There, Rhaburn managed to reach his best friend’s house, before he finally collapsed in the young man’s arms. The friend, who did not wish to appear on camera, says Rhaburn tried to talk but could not speak.

Jacqueline Woods

“He couldn’t say anything?”

Voice of best friend

“He couldn’t say nothing. I tried to ask him who do it, he tried to tell me who did it, but he still couldn’t talk and so.”

The friend says both he and his mother desperately tried to get help for his dying companion, but no one would assist them.

Voice of best friend

“When we bust out of my yard, a C.I.B. vehicle mi di come the same way and instead of the vehicle stop, the vehicle fly past we. That and all mek the man dead, mek the man stifle from his own blood. C.I.B. vehicle just fly past we and we had to run all the way over the bridge to ketch another pickup fi ker this man dah hospital.”

As the friend tried to get help, Rhaburn’s girlfriend, Vilma Sedacey, who lives with her mother at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge, was awaken by the commotion. Sedacey says she was shocked to discover that it was her boyfriend who had been shot.

Vilma Sedacy, Girlfriend of Deceased

“His friend’s mother was shouting for me, and I really never pay it no mind. So when they came and rattled the door, we opened the door and his friend told me how Berris got shot, so I couldn’t believe it. He said I got him right down here lying down. So when they lift him, I see when they lift him I believe it then. Vehicles mi di pass but nobody wanted to stop for him, so his friend stood in the middle of the street and stop a pickup. So they picked him up and put him in there.”

But Rhaburn died shortly after being admitted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This morning, the police were back at the murder scene. Authorities say they do not believe the killing is gang related and are investigating possible motives.

Jacqueline Woods

“Do you know why anyone would want to kill him?”

Vilma Sedacey

“No, because he is not a person that starts trouble, he is a nice person. He kept to himself always, he was only living for his daughter.”

At the scene police recovered one expended .380 shell as well as a number of electronic equipment they suspect to be stolen items.

Jacqueline Woods

“Police say at this time they are looking for one suspect. He has been identified as Delford “Peter” Slusher. Sources tell News 5 Rhaburn was killed by someone he knew well. Why he was murdered? No one seems to know. But everyone who knew Rhaburn, described him as a pleasant young man, who kept to himself most of the time.”

Estell Bodden

“When I heard that he got shot, I was so shock.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You are at a lost of how this could have happened?”

Estell Bodden

“Of course I am, because like I said, Berrisford was a nice young man. He doesn’t quarrel with anybody, he doesn’t talk about hurting anyone, so I don’t see why they did that to him.”

Linsford Slusher, Father of Suspect

“The boy is a cool, cool boy, he no give no problem, he no gang bang, he no quarrel or fight with nobody you know and he no have any enemy so it is surprising to me.”

Slusher, who owns the house, says he knows the police suspect that his son is involved and claims his son was not even in the city when the crime occurred.

Linsford Slusher

“He lived here with my son. He and my son lived here for about five years.”

Jacqueline Woods

“And your son was home last night when this incident happened?”

Linsford Slusher

“No, he wasn’t here last night. He is not here. He is out, yes. So only the young man was here. Cause according to his friends, he’s at sea.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Your son is at sea?”

Linsford Slusher

“Yes he is at sea with one of his friends old man doing fishing or something like that.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So you don’t believe your son is involved in this incident?”

Linsford Slusher

“No, he and the boy are friends for many years, they are always together and the balance of boys from Conch Shell Bay here.”

Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

At news time tonight, no one had been arrested for the murder of Berrisford Rhaburn.

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