Shot firefighter Thomas Ossel 'unlawfully killed' in Venezuelan hotel room

Thomas Ossel Thomas Ossel was "very protective of his friends and especially his brother", friend Paul Wynne said shortly after the killing

Related Stories

A London firefighter was shot dead in his Venezuelan hotel room as he tried to tackle robbers who had tricked their way in, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Ossel, 28, from Bedford, was shot in the jaw at Playa el Aqua resort on Margarita Island in July 2011.

He was on holiday with his brother Jack, then 21, who was stabbed in the incident.

Coroner Tom Osborne concluded Mr Ossel had been unlawfully killed when at least four gunmen entered the hotel.

"Thomas was quite clearly an innocent victim in this robbery," he said.

Resisted gang

He bled to death "in minutes" from organ failure, internal bleeding and cardiopulmonary laceration caused by a gunshot wound, the Bedfordshire coroner added.

The brothers and their friend, Owen Pearce, then 21, who was unhurt, had been on holiday in South America since 30 June and had been due to return home on 9 August.

Ampthill Coroner's Court heard four gunmen had posed as clients of prostitutes to gain access to the Posade Casa Rosa hotel, on the Caribbean island off the Venezuelan mainland, knowing the owner hired rooms out for a short time.

The pair were attacked as they resisted the gang, who had taken other guests hostage.

Shots were fired from a 9mm pistol and a .357 revolver.

Jack Ossel was stabbed and treated for minor injuries.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the killing and are in custody in Venezuela.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Beds, Herts & Bucks

Weather

Luton

16 °C 12 °C

Features

  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade


  • Welsh flagDragon's den

    Why Wales will make its own mind up on independence


  • BKS IyengarFlexible guru

    The man who helped bring yoga to the West


  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.