BELIZE CITY, Wed. Oct. 6, 2021– On October 6, 2021, almost two months after he was apparently randomly shot just a short distance from his home, and just when there appeared to be a budding hope for his eventual recovery, 15-year-old Kassman Gill passed away in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Gill had been shot on Magazine Road as he was heading to the house of a friend of his on Thursday, August 16 — just minutes after he had left his home on Logwood Street, where, according to his father, Cecil Gill, he had spent almost all his time since the onset of the pandemic. It is believed that Kassman, a third form SJC student who had no gang affiliations and was known as an introvert, was targeted by a gunman who circled the area before firing two shots, which damaged the teen’s lungs and spine. The injuries to his spine left him in an almost entirely paralyzed state. He was reportedly only able to move his head as he lay on a bed in the KHMH.
While initially fearful that Kassman would pass away, and haunted by the possibility that their loved one might not ever walk again, Kassman’s family began to be hopeful about his possible recovery after there were several notable improvements in his condition while he was hospitalized at the KHMH. Those reasons for hope included the improvements in the functioning of his vital organs, small indications of responsiveness on Kassman’s part, the slow normalization of his oxygen levels, and the gradual decrease in the doses of sedatives he received. Those hopes were dashed on Wednesday, and many Belizean hearts were broken.
According to Cecil Gill, Kassman’s father, the reportedly studious Saint John’s College student had dreams of being a lawyer.
Kassman now joins a number of teenagers who have lost their lives to senseless, seemingly random acts of violence in recent months. Since July, as many as ten minors have been killed — with eight of those deaths occurring in the last two months alone.
Crime Stoppers Belize has since released a poster requesting assistance from the general public in solving Kassman’s murder. The Police Department is encouraging anyone with information regarding Kassman’s shooting and ultimate death to provide that information anonymously by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 922 or using the P3 app located at www.P3tips.com.