Tonight, another minor is dead after fifty-two days of fighting for his life inside the KHMH’s Intensive Care Unit. On Wednesday evening, fifteen-year-old Kassman Gill became the ninth minor of the year to die from gun violence that is plaguing Southside Belize City. Reporter Vejea Alvarez spoke to his distraught family and files the following report.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: This was the scene on August 16 as an innocent teen was shot and rushed to the KHMH where he would spend fifty two days fighting for his life. That teen was fifteen year old Kassman Gill. Around two o’clock in the afternoon the minor was walking from his home on Logwood Street heading to a friend on Magazine Road. Gill was on his way to a classmate’s party after spending most of his summer locked inside. But little did he know that a senseless gunman riding on a bicycle would have approached him and opened fire. The shots riddled the teen’s body and he was rushed in the back of a pickup truck to the hospital where he would have ultimately succumbed to his injuries on October 6.
Cecil Gill, Father of Kassman Gill: “Yesterday approximately 5:20 my beloved son passed away. He fought, he put up a fight for fifty two days after being shot by a coward. An innocent fifteen year old child walking and a coward, an idiot just rode up on him and shot him. He’s not a street figure, he doesn’t see danger coming and they took his life.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The student’s father Cecil Gill says the family hoped for the best even though doctors said that if Gill survived he would have been paralyzed.
Cecil Gill, Father of Kassman Gill: “He laid up in the hospital, the prognosis was he would be paralyzed if he survived. We had hoped if he survived and was paralyzed we would have brought him home and taken good care of him. There was a glimmer of hope for about five days because there was improvement in the lung function. All we wanted was for that to be cleared up then we would have looked into whether or not there was a possibility of getting him abroad to deal with the spinal injury and see maybe if we could have gotten some kind of mobility.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The mourning father expressed his gratitude for the good doctors and nurses at the KHMH but said that the hospital’s shortcomings didn’t help his son’s chance of survival.
Cecil Gill, Father of Kassman Gill: “I must say that the doctors and nurses at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital they did all they could. The hospital itself has some short comings that I think if addressed it will save a lot more lives because I think if they had a CT Scan machine, if they had an MRI machine my son would have had a better chance because when you have to move him from Karl Heusner to take him to Medical Associates with his condition it endangers his life even faster. We attempted to take him for a CT scan and we had to rush him back in.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Gill described his son as a loving soul who was a guardian to his two sisters that are now heartbroken by his loss.
Cecil Gill, Father of Kassman Gill: “Kassman and my two daughters they were a close knit, you don’t see one without the other unless they’re in high school and they go to different high school but at primary school they’d go together come back together and whatever else they do they stay right in this house together locked down all during COVID right here until that sorry day when we allowed him to have a little break.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The minor was a third form student of SJC and his father says he dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer. He describes his son as a loving soul and expressed deep frustration not knowing why his son was targeted for absolutely no reason.
Cecil Gill, Father of Kassman Gill: “I am still trying to figure out why. The question remains in my mind why. Clarity I need it. I need it to heal. My family needs it to heal. My daughter cried all night last night, they keep saying he did not deserve this. Why him ? Why him ? A beautiful person you meet Kassman you love him. Any parent would want that boy for a son. A beautiful soul, humble. The girls are first let them have it first anything that they need he wants the girls to have it, he wants his sisters to have it first. ‘Don’t worry about me let them get what they need first.’ I don’t know how else to describe my son other than a great soul.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Kassman Gill is the tenth minor since July of this year to be killed. Police have yet to make an arrest in this case, their investigations continue.