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Nov 15, 2001

Dangriga shopkeeper shot to death in robbery

Story PictureIt
was once famous as the highway that wound its way across narrow bridges
and through lush fields of citrus…but in recent months the Stann Creek
Valley Road could better be described as crime alley. Last night a well
known businessman lost his life in the latest attack on public decency.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Forty-nine year old Woolrich McKenzie was inside his establishment alone
when one person, believed to be from Dangriga, entered the One-Stop Grocery
Shop. What happened next is not clear, but shortly after a gunshot was

Supt. Clifford Martinez, O.C. Dangriga Police Station
“Mister McKenzie usually have customers inside his store. Anytime you
pass there, you usually see people inside or on the outside talking, but
this time understand that he was alone at the store.”

A man who was in the area at the time of the incident, told police that
after he heard the shot he ran into the store and saw McKenzie lying on
the floor.

Supt. Clifford Martinez
“According to him, Mr. McKenzie was gasping for air and he was asking
if he can please help him because he was dying. Thereafter, Mr. McKenzie
didn’t say anything again. He was shot on the left side of his chest.”

Jacqueline Woods
“Police say they know that there is an eyewitness to this murder. However,
they have been unable to get much information because that person is not
talking at this time.”

Supt. Clifford Martinez
“We understand that one person was seen running through the backdoor
of Mr. McKenzie’s store, running in the direction of the monument that’s
not so far away from the store.”

Police believe robbery was the motive for the shooting, but so far, they
have been unable to confirm if anything was stolen.

Supt. Clifford Martinez
“Nothing has been reported stolen. I get to understand that Mr. McKenzie
has money on his person, it was found inside his pocket. The money from
his sales were inside the drawer, so nothing stolen has been reported
so far.”

McKenzie was a prominent businessman, whose store was located next door
to the Southern Regional Hospital. Today, Dangriga residents can’t still
believe he was killed.

Dangriga Resident
“I’m very angry at what happened because everybody has a right to life
and nobody should take away anybody life. And especially somebody who
is working hard, for their children and their family, and to just away
their life like that, that’s very gruesome, that’s awful.”

Jacqueline Woods
“What are the residents here doing? Do you find that they’re going home
earlier, beginning to lock their doors? What’s the situation like?

Dangriga Resident
“Well, I can’t say anything right now, but last night when I heard
about it, I just went straight home.”

Cassian Nunez, Mayor, Dangriga Town
“There has been some effort to develop some neighbourhood watches,
working with the police. We have three of those watches in action right
now, but the overall percentage of crime in Dangriga is something we’re
not proud of. We’re asking all citizens who are concerned not to be reticent,
don’t be quiet about it. If you see anything, a suspect, please call the
authorities. We are shocked with the incident last night and it will take
a while to get over that.”

The police believe McKenzie was shot with a handgun, but have been unable
to locate either the weapon or any expended shell. One suspect has been
detained in connection with the murder and police are asking anyone with
information to please come forward. Reporting for News 5, Jacqueline Woods.

Dangriga police say they have intensified patrols in the town, but
they are handicapped by a lack of manpower and vehicles.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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