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Taxi Driver Shot Dead Near Home on Sunday Evening

May 22, 2023

Taxi Driver Shot Dead Near Home on Sunday Evening

Cecil Buckley

A taxi driver was gunned down not far from where he lived on Ordonez Avenue in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. Cecil Buckley, a man who, from all accounts, was a hard-working cab driver, was targeted shortly after six on Sunday evening as he stood on the street. Residents heard three gunshots and when they went to see what had happened, they saw Buckley on the street. He died shortly after while receiving medical treatment and it has left the President of the Marine Terminal Taxi Service, of which Buckley was a part, angry at the total loss of life to gun violence over the past two decades. Police have begun their investigations into this latest homicide, as News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Belize City police are trying to solve the latest murder in the Old Capital that occurred on Sunday evening.  The deadly shooting claimed the life of forty-one-year-old Cecil Buckley, a taxi driver who lived on Ordonez Avenue. Buckley was standing on the street about three houses away from his home when someone approached him and opened fire. Buckley died shortly after arriving at the K.H.M.H. Today, Tyrone Sampson, the President of the Belize Marine Terminal Taxi Association, told us that Buckley told him he had a dispute with someone.

Tyrone Sampson

Tyrone Sampson, President, Belize Marine Terminal Taxi Association

“The last time I saw Mr. Buckley he was telling me about some problems he had with some people and I advised him, you know, that we’re old. We’re not young no more and if you’re not serious about what you’re going to do, don’t even venture into it.”

Today, police patrolled the area where Buckley was killed, as investigators delve into the crux of this case. Eastern Division Commander, Assistant Commissioner Hilberto Romero told the media that two men attacked Buckley.

Hilberto Romero

A.C.P Hilberto Romero, Commander, Eastern Division

“He was close to his house when two male persons approached him, one fired shots at him, causing the injuries. Thereafter Mr. Buckley succumbed to his injuries at the K.H.M.H. We are seeking one suspect in regards to this murder.”

Police have no motive as yet, and this is the second murder that has occurred on Ordonez Avenue within a month. At the end of April, Adrian Pook was shot and killed while walking near his yard by a man who police said lurked under his step. Romero said the police are conducting a few operations in the area to deter further violence. He did not say whether this murder is linked to the Pook murder.

A.C.P Hilberto Romero

“We have several operations and patrols in that area. The area is being policed. Again this person found a way to make his way through the area and this is what transpired.”

Sampson told us that his friend stood his ground when he felt he was right.

Tyrone Sampson

“He was the type of guy who wa stand up fi ih rights. Ih nuh wa back down. You know, I nuh know what transpired, you know, I just got to find out about it early this morning.”

Another friend of Buckley, Chef Ainsley Castro, said that Buckley was a hard-working taxi driver who motivated and supported him in the struggle to survive.

Ainsley Castro

Chef Ainsley Castro, Friend of Cecil Buckley

“Ih do ih lee tours and soh noh soh ih always tell mi that ih wa bring in wa couple tourists and food cause ih know that da quality food sell pahn this side ah town and then we da from backa Martin’s soh ih just patronize mi wid some ah ih guests deh when ih bring deh in also. At the end of the day that da wa black man weh mi di try eena the community cause, yoh know, I know the man from eena the neighbourhood and he always motivate mi and da one ah mi customers always.”

Ainsley says he’ll miss Buckley particularly on Thursday when Buckley stopped by to purchase his favourite roast chicken from him.

Chef Ainsley Castro

“Da man favourite da mi wa nice lee roast chicken with ih lee ducunu, beans and vegetables. All the cooks deh in deh know ih favourite when deh see ah deh done know, neem have to ask cause da lone breast he eat. One ah the cooks weh ih does come pick up after work, cause yoh know, ih soh reasonable and ih could work wid yoh that deh mi feel it and all, soh again mein, wi loss somebody good deh.”

Buckley’s friend, Tyrone Sampson shared his view that the murder rate is high because successive governments have not sent a message strong enough to the criminals perpetrating these incidents.

Tyrone Sampson

“These guys are just killing each other over – this one killed my friend, this one killed this one and killed that one. It’s never going to stop. It’s a cycle that’s never going to stop until we get serious about these things here in this country. Ih hurt mi to mi heart cause he was a good friend of mine. Ih hurt mi to mi heart.”

Marion Ali for News Five.