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Jul 25, 2022

Fatal Shooting in Las Flores, Belmopan; Was it an Accident?

Daniel Orellano

There was also a homicide in Belmopan for which a death investigation is ongoing. On Friday night in the Las Flores community, a single blast echoed near Mariposa Avenue. Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Orellano was mortally shot in the neck and face area with a shotgun by someone he knew as a friend. It is alleged that twenty-six-year-old Julian Henry had the gun in his hand when it accidentally discharged, hitting Orellano who was outside the house. Orellano’s family believes that it was not an accident and want justice for his death. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Orellano had just reached home from work when he went to visit with his friend on Mariposa Street in the Las Flores community in Belmopan. Shortly after he arrived at the rear of the house, a single blast was heard. Orellano was hit in the neck and face by a shotgun and according to official information, the shot was accidentally fired by his friend, Julian Henry, who was inside the house at the time.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“When police entered the house, they spoke to one Julian Henry, twenty-six years old, who was in the company of two other male persons. Henry claimed to police that he was cleaning his sixteen gauge shotgun in preparation for a hunting trip when the gun accidentally went off and most of the pellets went through the wall and a window that was open. Initial investigation revealed that in fact, this firearm was licensed to him and these pellets found target on Mister Orellano causing his fatal injury.”


But is there any evidence to dispute that that the shooting was in fact accidental? Police have investigated, but the family believes that it was intentional.


Isela Leiva

Isela Leiva, Aunt of Deceased

“The versions they are changing it and they should at least say the truth of what happened. When I first get the news, I thought maybe he got into a fight with someone and that’s how he got hurt, but when we start to know what really happened, we get shock cause they were friends. Not really best friends, as they are saying, but they grow together so they didn’t have problems as what we know. But all of them were inside, so if it was an accident, they would all be inside and surrounded with the firearm. But no, he was outside and he was shot through a window. And he was not shot on the arm. Like if it was an accident, I would expect leg, arm or something. He was shot on his neck and face. He was shot to kill. And he was the only one outside; all of them were inside. And now supposedly, it was an accident; it can’t be an accident. That was something they did on purpose.”


Julian Henry

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“I spoke to O.C. Belmopan at length where he explained to me emphatically that he would have investigate all angles and wait on the advice of the D.P.P.’s office. When I got the information last night that charges have been levied against Julian Henry, I am certain that he did what he said he was going to do and that was the directives.”


Orellano’s family is heartbroken.


Daniel Orellano

Isela Leiva

“He plays football, he heng sometimes with friends and drink, but that doesn’t make him a wrong boy or he neva deserve that. Or let’s say he has been in fights and he was killed because he was provoking someone. It was not like that. To take his life this way, it really breaks our heart cause he was just twenty-one years old.”


Henry remains in police custody since the incident and according to his attorney, he will be arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“Police have since charged Mister Julian Henry for Manslaughter by Negligence; this is based on advice from the office of the D.P.P.”


Isela Leiva

“Manslaughter and that is not what he is supposed to be charged for because manslaughter is an accident and this was not an accident and we know that. A person that has a license, he should know how to handle a gun. He should know if he is cleaning a gun, it shouldn’t have been loaded. So now they are saying it was an accident and that he was cleaning the gun. That was the first version that came out on the news when it just happened. Now dehn done change di story; it was not that. It was that he was playing with the gun and it just run off like that. And that is not true. How could he be playing with something and he know the danger.  The way how I am seeing it, the manslaughter and everything, we are not going to get justice but we need justice because that is why Belize is how it is. People kill and dehn just come out and put excuses. No, it was not an animal dehn killed; it was a human being who was just starting to live and who was not doing nothing to them.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


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