Headline — 19 April 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Randolph Hyde, 46, dead; his brother Mark, 36, critical

A masked gunman shot the brothers in their Roaring Creek meat shop

Six children are now fatherless after their father, businessman Randolph Hyde, 46, of Roaring Creek, died after being shot multiple times in the family store, Hyde’s Tender Meats and Groceries in Roaring Creek, at about 7:30 Tuesday night, April 16.

Along with Randolph Hyde in the store at the time was his brother, Mark Hyde, 36, who was shot in his shoulder and back. He was taken to the Belmopan Hospital in a critical condition, and has since been stabilized and is recovering in ward.

Randolph has been taken to the morgue, where he will undergo a post-mortem to certify the cause of his death.

Less than a year ago, on May 11, 2012, the third son of the family, James Hyde, 26, was shot to death by three gunmen while he was socializing in a yard in Dangriga.

Witnesses told police that a car pulled up in front of the yard, then three gunmen got out of the car and shot James, hitting him multiple times.

Alvin Hyde, Sr., the father of the family, told Amandala that four of his sons have now died due to gun violence, and his fifth son is now injured, also due to gun violence. He said that he feels empty inside and does not wish such tragedy on even his enemies.

Hyde said that his son did not have to die, because the man who shot him had already come into the store and gotten money, so the shooting was not necessary. He said he wants justice for his son, if he can get it. He is also praying for the successful recovery of his fifth son, Mark.

Liani Mejia, Randolph Hyde’s common-law wife who was in the store at the time, told Amandala that they had been receiving threats, but were taking them lightly. She was in the store serving some children who had come in to sell pints, and at the same time she was holding her 1-year-old baby around 7:30 that Tuesday evening, April 16.

She said that suddenly an armed, masked man came into the store and aimed a gun at her head and demanded money. She said that the bandit held the gun about five inches from her face, and while holding the gun at her with one hand, he used the other hand to scoop up all the money that was in the drawer.

The baby then began to cry, she said, and that was when Randolph Hyde, who was in the back room, looked out to see what was happening, and shouted, “Boy,” and the robber responded by shooting him.

The gunman then ran into the backroom and fired three more shots at Randolph, who, shot in the forehead, chest and the back of the head, fell to the floor.

Mark Hyde, who was also in the backroom, took cover, but the gunman fired at him, hitting him twice, and the killer ran out of the store and escaped.

Liani Mejia said that she shouted for Randolph, but there was no answer. She went into the back room and saw Mark struggling to get up, but he had been shot in his shoulder and back.

She then saw her common-law husband lying on the floor, but he was not moving. She then held him and when he opened his mouth, blood began to pour out.

She screamed, and people who had come into the store to see what was happening helped her, and the brothers were put into a vehicle and taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where Randolph Hyde died shortly after, about 8:15 that Tuesday evening, and Mark Hyde was placed into the critical care unit.

Mejia said that she is devastated. The barrel of the gun was close to her face, about 5 inches, as if it would have at any minute spit out a murderous bullet to kill her. When her boyfriend shouted “Boy”, from the backroom, the gunman quickly shifted the gun from her forehead, fired a shot at him, and returned the gun to her face, she recollected.

She said that this is the first time that the store has been robbed. They had heard rumors that the store was to be robbed, but they had not thought much of it, because they are from Roaring Creek and are a part of the community. She said that Randolph was kind to the people in the community and helped them when they were in need. She said that at the time, Randolph had a roll of money in his pocket, but when they searched his body after the killer ran out of the store, the money was nowhere to be found. She surmised that the killer had taken the funds.

Mark Hyde told Amandala that he was in the back room cleaning a meat-cutting saw about 7:30 before closing at 8:00 that evening. As he took off the top part of the saw to clean that portion, he heard his brother Randolph shout “Boy.”

A man then shot Randolph from inside the store. The killer then came to the back room where they were, and shot his brother three more times.

Mark said that he immediately grabbed the slider from the table and put it in front of him as a shield, but the killer still shot him in his shoulder and back. He then threw the slider at the killer, but he fired at him again and then he ran out of the room.

Mark managed to run outside, but fell by the door of the store. He screamed for help. He said, however, that no one wanted to come in the store to help. A few people finally responded to the pleas for help a few moments later, and he asked to be taken to the hospital.

He could have died, he said, but it was the slider from the saw that saved him. He also said that everyone with a business should be able to get a licensed firearm to protect themselves because of the threats that they are regularly facing.

Mark, who wants the culprit to be caught and to pay for what he did to Randolph, said he would not be able to identify the killer, whose face was covered with a rag. But he senses an eerie similarity between the shooting incident and another incident that occurred a week ago, when he was delivering chicken in a delivery truck in Roaring Creek.

He said that at that time a gunman had pointed a gun at them through the window of the vehicle when it parked in front of a business. The driver handed over some cash and the thief then escaped into the area—just as Randolph’s killer did.

Police are investigating but so far no one has been arrested.

Randolph Hyde is survived by his six children, his mother, father, his common-law wife Liani Mejia, 5 brothers, including Mark and Russell Hyde, and a host of relatives and friends.

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