Posted: Monday, August 28, 2023. 4:02 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: While they expect and are preparing for attempts at retaliation, the Police Department have preemptively tried to warn those close to the late Orel Leslie, 34, murdered Sunday night in the southern downtown section of Belize City, not to sanction or carry out such activity.
This morning, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams reiterated his personal message to Leslie’s alleged associates on Channel 7 News’ morning program: “I believe we have the two suspects in custody who are responsible for Orel Leslie’s death. We have also recovered the firearm used, so I believe we have a very good case moving forward. And I have said to them (Leslie’s associates), leave it for Police to deal with. Do not go and retaliate because retaliating is not going to bring back Orel Leslie. It is going to make matters worse, and some of you will find yourselves in prison.”
The firearm referred to is a nine-millimeter pistol with two extended clips, although there was also evidence of a 40-caliber weapon used at the scene. Police also recovered a nine-millimeter pistol, later confirmed to have been stolen, from Leslie’s vehicle; Leslie had his gun license revoked and was therefore not eligible to carry firearms of any kind.
At the main press briefing later this morning, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Officer Commanding Eastern Division Hilberto Romero expressed that Leslie had been targeted by two armed men on the curve leading from Albert to Regent Street, where it intersects with Yarborough Road. He had been on his way home when the men opened fire and he was able to drive on until he crashed into a tree near St John’s Cathedral, calling police for help as he did so.
Leslie died after being transported to Belize Medical Associates on St Thomas Street.
The suspects were chased and caught on a motorcycle that was stolen, and are known associates of a gang, and police are treating the murder as gang-related. Separately, one person is wanted is connection with the stolen weapon found in Leslie’s vehicle.
ACP Romero said police cannot yet confirm whether Leslie was still involved with gangs at the time of his death and added that in terms of an overall motive, there are still certain leads police are following. That investigation continues.
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