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Nov 27, 2019

Richard O’Neil is Kidnapped and Shot; Remains Critical at Hospital

Richard O’Neil

A construction worker of Ordonez Street is tonight in a critical condition at the K.H.M.H. after an attempt was made on his life overnight. Richard O’Neil was reportedly kidnapped from Belize City and taken to an area along the Boom/Hattieville Road where he was shot multiple times. But he survived the attack and managed to reach a nearby house for assistance. Police were called out and he was rushed to the hospital where he is now fighting for his life. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Twenty-seven-year-old Richard O’Neil was marked for death on Tuesday night, but luckily he survived the attack. According to police, the construction worker was kidnapped when a trio of men forced him into a vehicle in Belize City. He was taken to an area in Burrell Boom Village and shot several times to the body and left for dead. Even as he was seriously injured, O’Neil managed to make his way to a house on the Boom/Hattieville Road seeking assistance. The police were called in and he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital around 6:30 a.m. He was admitted for emergency medical treatment and remains in a critical condition at this time.

News Five is reliably informed by a police source that the shooting appears to be the result of infighting within one of the south side gangs.

O’Neil is no stranger to police. Back in January of this year, he was one of three persons charged in connection with a hostage situation at Seven Days Shop on Mahogany Street in Belize City.  The trio had forced their way through a gate at the front of the building before physically assaulting the Asian proprietor and his wife and duct-taping their mouths; they held the teenage daughter as hostage. Back then, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams intervened to detain the men.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police [File: January 14th, 2019]

“I found out who were the burglars and I made a call to one of them and that call led to me having a back and forth with the individual, trying to get him to surrender.  The thing is that we had to be very cautious, as the daughter was still in the building and we didn’t want to do anything that would have caused them to injure or kill the little girl.  And so, the negotiation lasted for about twenty minutes at which time they all agreed that they were going to surrender.  So I directed them to go on the verandah near the burglar bar where we can see each of them and their hands.  They did that and after that was done we breached the building and we went in and the three suspects were caught; namely, Richard O’Neil, Steven Bernard and Wayne Welch.  They were taken into custody and the little girl was also found inside the building unharmed.  A search of the building verandah, we found a bag of money amounting to six hundred and seventy dollars, thereabout.  This morning we went back as we couldn’t find the weapon last night, so we went back again this morning and we managed to find one Glock nine millimeter pistol.  So we have the suspects, we have the money, we have the firearm.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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