Austrian national and Placencia resort owner Christian Gigi Gusenbauer is lucky to be alive this morning. He successfully underwent surgery to remove shotgun pellets after he was attacked by pirates on his island home Friday 19 February. It happened at about 6:45 pm when Christian was alone on his Private Haven island located in the Lark Caye Range. That’s when he saw three to four dark-skinned men wearing hoodies approaching his house. They started shooting at the house in order to gain entry but Christian locked himself in his bedroom.
He says he can’t recall how many shots he heard because he was in shock and fearing for his life. The men then demanded money which Christian handed over along with the keys to his boat and that’s when one of the men fired a shot that hit him in the buttocks. The pirates then left the island in Gusenbauer’s stolen boat. His dog Mali has been recovered unharmed and his boat also recovered sans engine.
Meanwhile the Placencia community has rallied in support behind the Private Heaven resort (image above) owner. One of his friends Christo Swanepoel took to social media today to thank the area residents for their support.
Hey Placencia! 1st of all. My name got mentioned so many times with the incident regarding Christian Gigi Gusenbauer. I want to make it clear. I was absolutely not alone in this effort. The entire Placencia stepped up and together we rallied all the available forces.The Police force were incredibly responsive and acted fast right up to the commissioner of police. Superintendent Ramclam. Inspector Shal. Detective Fermin. The Belize Coast Guard was unable to help at the time because of the terrible weather conditions and timing but they were responsive and helpful and played a huge part in making this happen. Today they stepped up and brought the boat that was found to Placencia for safe keeping. Officer Lawrence and crew went to hell and back through the rough sea to get the boat here.
Cpl. Cardinez is a superstar.Shane Kenny who behind the scenes kept in comms with Gigi making sure he is staying conscious while at the police station and getting the medical team ready for whats to come when we reached Placencia. Kimberley Viner who kept Gigi calm on the boat and held him all the way on the rough boat ride back. Christopher Rothing who was the 1st person who actually spoke to Gigi. Lee Nyhus behind the scenes communicating with his family and sending help. Placencia as a whole!! I didn’t get the boat captains name but he was a trooper navigating us to the island terrible rough seas. Victoria Fernandez, Nick Ensor and Brandon from the Vision Properties team was 1st to arrive at the pier with a boat to take us together with the police out. They all stepped up and pulled out all the stops. Helping to Organized the ambulance and medical team as well. Captain Eworth took us out today again with Scenes of Crime. Belmopan Police service with Inspector Shal were on top of their game!!
Jason Westby (I’m not certain of his last name but was told it’s him) gathered a team to go secure the house and get Mali the dog. Barefoot Bar’s ladies Brice and Elysia Dial stepped up. Bringing me blankets and towels after curfew because I was soaked and cold and had to wait by the ambulance for Dr Alexis to stabilize Gigi. Dr Alexis and team took Gigi to Belize city immediately. Phenomenal work!
I want to reiterate. Pulling this together and being able to go out on the boat within 45 minutes of this whole thing starting. The entire Placencia community are heroes. Please share this so it’s clear! Apologies if I left anyone out. Well done Placencia!
Jason Westby, Placencia resident and Dog Rescuer: “I didn’t know that Mali was alive. When I got there a boat just come out of the spot after they found out what happened. Then the police was there at the same time, they came up the same time so the dog just stayed in the mangrove. I stood around the police and I told them that I will not leave without the dog and they were okay with that and when they left the dog came and sat by the door. The dog came right out of the mangroves and went to sit by the door, the owners door and she wouldn’t move.”