BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 24, 2018– Michelle Anderson, 40, a mother of nine children ranging from ages 4 to 27, was shot and killed at about 10:00 Monday morning while buying food for her family at Jun’s Meat and Grocery Store, which is situated across the canal in front of the Michael Finnegan Market.
Anderson, who worked as a fish vendor at the Conch Shell Bay fish market, not too far from the Michael Finnegan Market, was shot in her left breast when two men rode up on separate bicycles, and one of them fired several shots at a male customer who was in the store.
Anderson was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where she was declared dead on arrival.
A worker at the grocery store where the incident took place told us today that the male customer stood for a while outside the store, and then went inside the store. Then, the worker said, two men stopped outside the store and one of them began shooting inside the store, at the male customer.
The worker said that during the shooting, his co-worker, Nelson Joel Lopez, 25, was shot twice, in the thigh and in the foot. Lopez is currently hospitalized in a stable condition at the KHMH.
The worker also said that the gunmen did not attempt to rob the store, and that the woman who was shot was simply a customer, and definitely not the target. He mentioned that there were other customers in the store besides those who were shot.
The customer who is believed to have been the intended target was not hit, and we were told that he escaped his attackers by jumping over a freezer at the rear of the store and sliding through a small opening in a burglar-barred window, used to sell small items to customers from the East Collet Canal side of the store. The customer reportedly landed on the street and ran for his life.
Family members and friends of Anderson, who gathered at her house in Conch Shell Bay to remember her, said that she was both a mother and father to her children. They said that she was a hard worker, who cleaned and sold fish, and that she was neither a gang associate nor a violent person.
Anderson’s mother said that she will be missed, and that her children will suffer greatly because of their loss.
The family is seeking public assistance to cover funeral expenses, because she was the main financial supporter. Natalie Ortiz, one of her daughters, said that she was both mother and father to them. Those who wish to help with donations can call 633-0132.
As of press time tonight, no one has been arrested for the crime, and a motive for the shooting is yet to be established.