ST. MATTHEWS, Cayo Disrict, Mon. May 7, 2018– There was a spike in violent crime over the weekend that resulted in four persons losing their lives to gun violence. Three of the weekend murders occurred in Belize City and one took place in St. Matthews Village, in the early hours of Sunday morning, when Rony Omar Cassasola, 19, a construction worker, was shot dead.
The gunman, who was shooting randomly in the direction of some of Cassasola’s relatives, fired about six shots without hitting anyone, but his last shot hit Cassasola in the chest.
At their press briefing today, police said that Cassasola and another man had gotten into an argument outside a club located in the village and the man ended up shooting him.
Cassasola’s grieving relatives, however, said that was not how it happened.
One of Cassasola’s sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Chiquillo, 23, spoke to Amandala this morning at their family home. Chiquillo said that the shooter, whom she identified as “Dean,” and some of his friends were in the vicinity of their home and began insulting and threatening them.
“They started to curse and threaten us. They said they are untouchable, and if we mess with them, we gwine dead,” Chiquillo said.
She went on to say, “They were drunk and had drugs in their system. We stayed on the corner. Then Rony and his sister came.”
“Why were they threatening you guys; did something happen before?” we asked Cassasola’s sister-in-law.
Chiquillo replied that in the past, when she or her companions met those individuals in the street when they were not drinking, those persons did not harass them. “The same person weh shoot Rony pass here many times and did not say a word,” she added.
“How many of them were threatening you?” we asked.
“It was about three of them; a lady was along with them”, she said.
“All of us were here and then the young man, Dean, he came with the gun and just shoot atta the crowd. He no aim fu nobody, he just shoot. He shoot two times, but he never did ketch nobody, then he run to the back,” Chiquillo explained.
She said that Rony and his brother grabbed some stones and they started to stone him. “Not one stone ketch him. We all run, Rony run, his gyal run, his mother run and his sister run. All a we run,” she said.
“He de shoot without ketch nobody. The last bullet weh he shoot, that da di one weh ketch Rony on his chest,” she added.
“How much bullets did he shoot, more or less?” we asked Chiquillo.
“About six or seven bullets, he shoot. But, the last one da weh ketch the young man. Rony got shot from far away and he walk toward the house and drop right there [she pointed to some flowers near the house.],” she said.
In a police press release this afternoon, police reported that they have charged Dean Glenford Galvez, 21, a laborer of St. Matthews, with the murder of Rony Cassasola.
One woman who was at Cassasola’s house, but who declined to go on the record, said that ever since the bar was opened in the village, they have been having problems. “When that bar was not here, we never had this kind of problem,” the woman said.