Ladyville. Tues. Oct. 5, 2021– Around 4:00 p.m., on Tuesday, October 5, a taxi driver who is usually stationed at the Philip Goldson International Airport was killed at his residence on Myrtle Waight Crescent Street, in Ladyville, while reportedly fixing his car.
At the time of the shooting, the taxi driver, identified as 69-year-old Leo Darien Patrick Skeen, was fixing one of his car’s tires in front of his home, with his back facing the street. Reports are while he was carrying out the repairs, a dark-skinned man who was outside of his yard approached his fence and fired several shots at Skeen, fatally injuring him. Skeen was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead. Following the shooting, the unknown gunman fled the area.
Police continue to investigate the incident and have detained one person of interest, who they believe will be able to provide them with information pertinent to the case. They are hoping that, based on this information, they will be able to make an arrest and bring charges against the person responsible. The motive for the shooting has not yet been determined. Skeen, who at one time was the chairman of the Ladyville Village Council and voluntarily did yard-cleaning work, along with his wife, for the Lady of the Way RC church in Ladyville, was reportedly humble and law-abiding.
A neighbor of the family recalled how distressed Skeen’s wife was when she exited her home and saw her husband on the ground after he had been shot. She reportedly asked that neighbor to assist her by getting a towel from inside the house. The neighbor told a 7News reporter, “… She ask me to get a towel in the house and I ran to get the towel. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I feel so sad of what’s going on in our country. It came too close to home for me, it’s so sad. Poor little old man, and I didn’t realize I screamed. I said, ‘why would you guys want to kill a little old man?’”
The murder of Skeen occurred less than a week after the body of another elderly man, retired Port Authority employee, Geoffrey Crawford, 69, was discovered in a shallow grave after he was seen in an injured state in the back of his Nissan Pathfinder, which was being driven by his assailants. In response to the two incidents, the National Council on Aging, alongside the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs, issued a joint release, which stated, “We note the distressing occurrence in the cases of violent crimes perpetrated against older men in Belize. In less than two weeks, active older men have been murdered in or near their homes. These cold-hearted crimes cannot be left to fade quietly into the noise of everyday news.”