It was the most sensational hit in the city without pity since Therese Blake, heiress to the James Blake fortune, was gunned down at Newtown Barracks the early afternoon of October 12, 2000. Richard Arthur Nigel Hoare, 34, the young-man-about-town heir to the Arthur and Marie Hoare estate, was killed with a single gunshot to the back of his head on Vasquez Avenue around 9:30 last night.
Seconds after the shot, residents heard a loud bang, as if two vehicles had collided. Richard Hoare was apparently driving when he was shot, because his silver Toyota Prado (license BZ-C-31089) went on to run into a red Mazda pickup parked on the street. Neighbours told police they saw two figures run from the vehicle and head north through the nearby alley. In fact, police say that they thought they had come to deal with a traffic accident until they discovered the young multimillionaire’s body slumped over his steering wheel. Belize had gotten used to murders over the last fifteen years, but Richard Hoare had everything to live for.
The story spread slowly over the old capital on Thursday morning. Police were unusually tight-lipped. The victim was a social and business giant. And they didn’t have a clue.
Richard Hoare, of #27 Baymen Avenue, was the son of the late shipwright and businessman, Arthur Nigel Hoare, and his wife, Marie Louise Hoare, both deceased. Richard Hoare inherited Baymen Cable Network, a pioneer of cable TV in Belize, from his parents. He is reported to have major investments in tourism (including Tropical Dreams Resort in Placencia) and owns orange orchards and a cattle ranch in More Tomorrow, in addition to several thoroughbred horses.
Police found the silver Prado, owned and driven at the time by Hoare, lodged tightly against the right post of a garage at the residence of James Bradley, who lives at #5614 Vasquez Avenue.
The Prado had hit a metal gate and slid into Bradley’s garage after smashing into Bradley’s red Mazda truck.
Police took Richard Hoare to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post-mortem conducted today certified that he died almost instantly from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Hoare’s vehicle is parked at the Queen Street Police Station. Police say that the inside is spattered with blood. They do not know what specific type of handgun was used, and no expended shell was found at the scene.
Police have ruled out robbery as a motive, because Hoare’s cell phone, watch, jewelry, and cash, had not been taken.
James Bradley, the eyewitness, told police that he saw two men running from Hoare’s vehicle after he heard the loud bang and came out to investigate. The men ran into an alley across from Vasquez Street. Bradley says he cannot say what the young men looked like, because they ran so quickly through the alley.
Another resident of Vasquez Avenue told Amandala that he was in his bed when he heard a vehicle coming up the street. When the vehicle reached in front of his house, he heard a shot, then a loud bang. By the time he rushed out, he saw a red pick-up and Hoare’s grey car in an accident.
Shocked relatives of the deceased say they cannot understand the reason for his murder, because as far as they knew, he was a generous man and had no enemies.
Early this morning, various staff personnel from Hoare’s different businesses gathered at #27 Baymen Avenue, where his headquarters were, to mourn the passing of such a well-liked person and a respected businessman.
Richard Hoare had sold one of his cable businesses, Continental Shores in Ladyville, just yesterday.
What is known about Hoare’s last movements is that about shortly after 9:00 p.m. he left the family home at #27 Baymen Avenue. He was heading to Ladyville to the home of his common-law wife, Judith Williamson.
But sometime after leaving Baymen Avenue, it appears that Hoare picked up two persons. It is not known whether he did so willingly, or was forced.
His relatives said that Hoare is known to travel alone, but what is not normal is for him to take the route he took, through Vasquez Avenue, to get to Ladyville. He never got out of the city.
In 1980, Arthur Hoare and a Jamaican, known only as “Harold,” came up with the idea of installing cable television in the neighborhood Hoare lived.
In the late 1980’s, Richard graduated from St. John’s College. He furthered his studies at the University of Miami, where he graduated with a Master’s degree in engineering.
He then returned to Belize to assist his parents with the family business, and when his father died in 2004, he became much more involved with the running of the business.
Mrs. Marie Hoare died earlier this year.
On Monday, August 6, Richard’s youngest child, named after his grandfather, Arthur Nigel Hoare, will be celebrating his first birthday.
Richard would have celebrated his 35th birthday on September 10.
Richard Arthur Nigel Hoare is predeceased by his mother, Marie Louise Hoare; father, Arthur Nigel Hoare; brother, Edward Hoare, and sister, Kay Usher.
He is survived by his pregnant common-law-wife, Judith Williamson; two children, 16 and 11 months; one brother of Belize City; and seven sisters, three in New York; three in Florida and one step-sister living in Los Angeles.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. Relatives are scheduled to arrive in the country by this weekend.