BELIZE CITY, Fri. Oct.15, 2021– Almost two weeks have passed since 15-year-old Kassman Gill, the St. John’s College student who had been fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, passed away. The teen had been critically injured and was in a state of paralysis after being shot by an unknown gunman on Magazine Road as he headed from his home to a friend’s house — a reportedly rare outing for him since the start of the pandemic.
Surveillance footage from the cameras of nearby establishments revealed that prior to shooting Kassman, the unidentified gunman had been canvassing the area. The shooter subsequently stood before Kassman and fired another bullet that pierced through his body. Kassman had been rendered paralyzed from the neck down since the shooting, and while there had seemed to be slight improvements in his condition, he ultimately succumbed.
No one has yet been detained in connection with the shooting. However, the Belize Police Department is hopeful that its policing capabilities will be enhanced through the assistance of the US-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The first request that international assistance be sought in the investigation was made by Kassman’s father, Cecil Gill. He expressed his hope that the FBI could review the footage and provide technical assistance to the Belize Police Department. When interviewed by local reporters, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, addressed the possibility. He noted that his department would compile the available footage and ask the FBI to enhance and analyze the recordings.
While investigations into the shooting are underway, another investigation is likely to arise following allegations made by Kassman’s father that negligence on the part of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital staff might have contributed to his son’s death.
Cecil Gill is claiming that on September 18, he noticed that the ventilator that was providing his son with air had malfunctioned. While KHMH staff are insisting that this disruption only lasted 4 minutes, Gill believes the deprivation of oxygen for that period of time caused irreparable damage to his son’s brain, and that his son slipped into a comatose state following their negligent act. He also believes that medical practitioners lied to him when he enquired about his son’s state and that they failed to inform him that his son was in a coma.