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Dec 1, 2023

Domestic Dispute Leads to Burrell Boom Mother being Stabbed

Belize continues to celebrate the annual Sixteen Days of Activism, but tonight we begin our newscast with the unfortunate story of a woman who was attacked and stabbed by her common-law husband in the presence of her three-year-old son.  The incident happened in Burrell Boom Village last night and residents came out in full support of the victim, upon learning of what had happened at the hands of her husband. That individual, identified as Manuel Rodriguez, has been taken into custody as police continue their investigation into the horrific incident. News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed to Burrell Boom today and has our first story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A frightening ordeal for a mother and her three-year-old son unfolded just before eight o’clock on Thursday night in Burrell Boom Village.  Shona Baptist was at home in the Brian Estate neighborhood when her common-law husband arrived at the residence.  A neighbor was dropping off a couple friends just across the street from where the couple lives.  He recounted off camera what he observed.


Voice of: Burrell Boom Resident 1

“I came and I dropped off my neighbor.  I heard a screaming.  I went home to my house which is on the other street and I still heard screaming and I saw my neighbors looking across.  So I decided to come out of my house and I looked across and I saw the young lady with the baby in her hands, screaming, and I saw the gentleman at the other side of the fence, other side of the yard, sorry and I jumped on the phone and I made a phone call.”


That phone call was to alert Shona’s relatives that something terrible was happening next door.  Another resident shares what he saw after being dropped home moments earlier.


Isani Cayetano

“I understand that you saw the young lady with a child in her hand prior to this incident taking place.”

Voice of: Burrell Boom Resident 2

“That da when I first come.  Yes, I saw her with her kid in her hand, but as I said, I went inside and I couldn’t see what happened after that.”


What transpired immediately thereafter was an exchange of words between Shona Baptist and Manuel Rodriguez that resulted in a vicious stabbing.  Reports are that the call agent was slashed in the throat by her enraged common-law husband.


Voice of: Burrell Boom Resident 1

“When I got here the police were, somebody took out the guy and police came.  While I was riding, I saw police walking at the same time I was riding [over] coming.  But at this time somebody had already taken the guy out, brought him outside.”

It is not clear what precipitated the attack on Baptist.  What we know is that upon hearing the agonizing screams, neighbors rushed over to see what was taking place.  In the process, Rodriguez, himself a bloody mess, was quickly detained by police.


Voice of: Burrell Boom Resident 2

“The response was very quick because apparently her family and thing, people got to know, and the response was very quick.  They had a large crowd that came, police were already here and police were here quick.  Earlier, it was only one police but he couldn’t control the crowd.  But nobody, as far as I know, I noh know whatever happened between the crowd and the noise.”

Isani Cayetano

“How disturbing is this for you, as someone who saw the couple together, I mean, they live next door to you.  You’ve seen them together, perhaps at their best or at their worst and to see something like this happen.”


Burrell Boom Resident 2

“I neva sih dehn in problem before.  If dehn had I don’t know because I da somebody, I hardly deh home.”


It’s an incident that comes amid the commemoration of Sixteen Days of Activism.  Earlier today, Prime Minister John Briceño shared a sobering message on the issue of gender-based violence.


John Briceño, Prime Minister“As we commemorate the Sixteen Days of Activism against gender-based violence, we unite under the powerful theme for this year, “From Activism to action, it ends with me.”  This premise serves as a poignant reminder that the responsibility to end gender-based violence lies with each and every one of us.  As a nation, we have made significant strides about raising awareness about this pervasive issue that continues to threaten and affect the very fabric of our society.  While many of us have joined forces to speak out against injustice and demand lasting change, now, more than ever, it is time for all us to take decisive action to eliminate gender-based violence in all its forms.”


Shona Baptist remains hospitalized at the KHMH in a stable condition.

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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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