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Dec 3, 2018

A Couple Is Ambushed in Deadly Shooting: Francis Gill is Shot and Killed

Francis & Betsy Gill

Hours earlier, a Belize City couple was ambushed as they returned to their apartment on Coral Grove after midnight. A gun man, who waylaid them, opened fire instantly killing Francis Gill before he could exit his vehicle. Gill’s wife, Betsy, was spared her life but remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with injuries. The Gill family is at a loss as to the motive for the murder. Robbery has been ruled out and the family confirms that detector lights on their apartment building had been deactivated. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Forty-six-year-old Francis Gill lost a leg in 2014, after he was deliberately ran into with a vehicle during an altercation outside of Key Ley Restaurant.  Tonight, his body is at the morgue and Gill’s family believes that his murder may be related to that incident.  Sometime around one-thirty a.m., Francis and his wife were ambushed inside their vehicle as they drove into this yard.  The couple has been renting an apartment here for the past three years and on Monday morning, shortly after midnight, they returned home from an evening at the casino.  Unbeknownst to them, someone had been lurking in the dark.  Before Gill could have exited his vehicle, the gunman pounced on them with lethal precision, firing as many as four rounds in their direction.

 

Vaughn Gill

Vaughn Gill, Brother of Deceased

“After one last night, Francis was, his wife, was returning from the Princess to their home and as he pulled in, before he even got out of his vehicle he was ambushed.  He died on the spot and his wife is in the hospital with injuries to her legs, gunshot injuries.  We’re waiting for the official police report, I haven’t heard that yet but that was the information.  One gunman.  There was no robbery attempt or anything like that, it was just a direct execution.”

 

Gill’s killer, it is believed, may have disabled the lights on the building while waylaying him in the yard.

 

Vaughn Gill

“It seems that they were lay waiting them at home.  He had motion detector lights on the building and so on and it was, they were broken, even though when they left at nine before he went out they were working.  We’re still waiting for more details on that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“It is strange that someone would attack your brother and his wife in such violent manner.  Do you know of any situation that would lend to a reason as to why someone would do such a heinous act?”

 

Vaughn Gill

“No.  I mean Francis has been living a legal life, he manages the apartment where he is residing, for the owner in the U.S., he’s the apartment manager.  He has vehicles that he’s been selling after he got his insurance settlement after he had lost that leg in that incident in 2014, I believe.”

 

This afternoon, investigators shared additional details with the media.

 

Wilfredo Ferrufino

Insp. Wilfredo Ferrufino, C.I.B., Belize City

“C.I.B. personnel visited 1128 Barracuda Street, this would be in the Coral Grove area of Belize City.  There they discovered one Francis Gill, a forty-seven-year-old resident of the said address, slumped on the steering wheel of his vehicle.  From what police gathered, Mr. Gill and his wife had returned from socializing and as he parked his vehicle inside yard, someone fired four shots at him, two of which caught him and were fatal.  His wife was also injured, one on her right leg and the other on her left leg.  She is stable and at the hospital.”

 

According to the family, Gill had filed a civil claim against Devon Jones, the man who rammed him with his vehicle four years ago.  He was successful in suing Jones, who was ordered by the court to compensate him.  It is not clear whether the September 2014 incident is, in any way, related to this murder.

 

Vaughn Gill

“He was awaiting payment on the civil end because he had also won a civil suit against the gentleman and as far as we know that is the only issue that he had was that pending settlement because he already got the judgment for the civil part of it and I know that a few weeks ago, he was, he and his attorneys were attempting to go and seize the assets of the gentleman that he had gotten a judgment on.  Besides that, the family doesn’t know of anything.”

 

It is, presumably, an angle being looked at by investigators.

 

Francis Gill

Insp. Wilfredo Ferrufino

“We have several leads that we are following and the investigation is ongoing.  As soon as we have something concrete we will brief you.”

 

Reporter

“Are there any suspects at this time?”

 

Insp. Wilfredo Ferrufino

“Yes, we do have one suspect, one person of interest who can assist in the investigation.”

 

Vaughn Gill, in speaking with News Five today, remembered his brother fondly.

 

Vaughn Gill

“He spent a good part of his life in the U.S.  He returned about three years ago to Belize and that’s when he had that unfortunate incident where he lost a leg, but being Francis, he ended up joining the disability association, becoming an executive member.  He accepted the loss and moved on.  He was into business and just got married about six months ago.  After that horrible incident that most thought would have wrecked him, he was rebounding and had a great future.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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