Briton shot taking on robbers in Venezuela

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The Independent US

A British holidaymaker was shot dead in Venezuela after taking on robbers, a hotel owner said today.

Thomas Ossel, 28, from Bedfordshire, was fatally shot in the jaw while his younger brother Jack was stabbed in the back but survived.

Jack, 21, was taken to hospital and received stitches before being discharged.

Peter Eggersdorfer, owner of the hotel Posada Casa Rosa hotel on Margarita Island, where the brothers were staying, said a gang of robbers came to the hotel asking for a room then threatened him with a gun.

"At about 9pm someone rang my bell, that's not unusual so I opened it.

"After a few seconds there was a pistol against my head, there were seven people, at least one had a gun."

He said the gang were looking for money, going from room to room, but when they got to the room Mr Ossel and his brother were sharing they encountered resistance.

"The British people started fighting with the people, I couldn't see, I could only hear," he said.

"I could hear shouting of, 'give me dollars, give me Euros'.

"It was very noisy and lots of action and then I heard shots.

"I heard five shots - four in the wall but the last one went into the body of Tom Ossel.

"It only lasted around three minutes then they ran out."

Mr Eggersdorfer said he called emergency services but Mr Ossel died "within minutes".

He said he and his brother had been sharing a room with another Briton and someone from New Zealand, and had been staying at the hotel for around six days.

"I do not understand why you would fight with people with a gun - it is actually surprising only one person died, because five shots were fired.

"The sad thing is, I don't think he had any money - he had not paid the room."

Mr Eggersdorfer said Venezuela could be dangerous, and it was not unheard of for locals to try to rob tourists of their money.