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May 29, 2006

Bystander wounded in city shooting

Story PictureWith so many bullets flying around Belize City it should not be surprising when a bystander is caught in the crossfire. Fortunately, the latest incident, as News Five’s Jacqueline Godwin reports, did not prove fatal.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Sixty year old Henry Leslie better known as J.B. does not know when he will be able to put away the crutches and walk normally again but he is thankful to be alive. It is strongly believed he was mistakenly hit by a bullet meant for another victim. The bicycle Leslie was sitting on still displays the bullet hole that tore through the rear wheel.

The drama unfolded at the corner of Ebony and Zericote Streets. Leslie was by this lamppost speaking with two other men one of whom was forty-one year old Floyd Gladden. Witnesses claim just before the shooting started they observed three young men standing outside of this Chinese grocery shop situated across the street. Leslie says he was having a normal conversation when the gunshots rang out. He tried to get out of harms way but was hit with one of the bullets believed to be a nine millimetre.

Henry Leslie, Shooting Victim
?So there were two cars parked and I decided to dodge between the cars them. I had already got hit and I didn?t realize that until I feel the burning in my leg.?

Two days after he was shot, Leslie, who makes a living as a watchman, tries his best to remain active. The bullet is still lodged just below the knee in his right leg. And he will need to undergo surgery to remove the slug. Leslie is the fourth senior citizen in two months to fall victim crimes of violence across the country. In San Ignacio, the manhunt continues for eighteen year old Rolando Lisbey the youth who viciously attacked eighty year old Celestino Salas causing him head and facial injuries that have resulted in memory and hearing loss. One month later eighty year old George Anglin Senior was murdered at his home in Orange Walk Town. Police initially detained two of the victims? sons, Berris and George junior, but has since released them. Police, however, say they continue to believe the younger son Berris who was with his father at the time of the assault, knows more than what he has told them. Today, the Anglin murder remains unsolved.

Henry Leslie
?It?s a whole different time now than when I was a younger guy. We use to go out and party, have fun and you know nobody worry about no kind of bad people to do no crime or nothing and we were happy in those days. But it is different now.?

Leslie says he would like to thank all those persons, especially Errol Diaz and Betty Craig who have been helping him to recover from his gunshot wound. And while he says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, Leslie regrets the loss of freedom.

Henry Leslie
?I hope they learn how to appreciate life and they can live longer to tell people. Well you know they suppose to try live loving with people instead of fighting with each other. They need to live like brothers and sisters because Belize is a very small place and we do not need this kind of violence.?

Police so far do not know who shot Leslie. If you can help to solve the Salas, Anglin, and Leslie cases call Crime Stoppers at 0 ? 800 ? 922- TIPS.

Jacqueline Godwin for News Five.

Police say at least seven shots were fired. Floyd Gladden, better known as Cinco-seis, was also wounded in the hand. Unlike Leslie, it is believed that Gladden was the intended shooting victim.

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