A British tourist has been gunned down and his younger brother injured in a terrifying attack on a paradise island.
Firefighter Tom Ossel, 28, (pictured left with brother Jack) was shot in the jaw and killed as he tried to fight off an armed gang on Margarita Island, Venezuela.
His younger brother Jack Ossel, 21, was blasted in the armpit but survived the armed raid at their hotel on Monday.
Jack has been discharged from hospital and his dad Joseph is reported to be flying to the island.
Venezuelan police officials said it is believed gunmen were trying to rob the brothers and opened fire when they fought back.
The Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office is now helping Mr Ossel’s family, who live in Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Dozens of friends today joined a Facebook tribute group called ”Tom Ossel, We all love you.”
Patrick Alex Rodgers wrote: ”What a massive and tragic loss to us all Tom your a top geezer and one of the genuinely nicest blokes I’ll ever meet! Simply can’t believe I’m having to write this.”
Andy Kinkead added: ”I still can’t believe that this has happened. I always imagined Tom growing old on a beach somewhere. I will never forget the good old days that we all had. You will be missed.”
Tom, from Bedford, a firefighter with London Fire Brigade, was a keen traveller who wrote on his Myspace page he had been to 40 countries.
He wrote: ”Love to travel…have been to nearly 40 countries now…would love to make it 100 one day!”
His younger brother Jack wrote on his Facebook page that he is studying politics, philosophy and economics at London Metropolitan University.
Venezuelan hotel owner Peter Eggersdorfer said Tom was shot dead after he unwittingly let the robbers inside his room.
He said: ”Four men rang on the bell saying they wanted a room and asking if they could see it. I let them in and left the door open.
”Next minute one of them pistol-whipped me over the head with a gun and another three women including one armed with a knife had rushed in behind them.
”I was bundled into the kitchen and held hostage along with a couple of guests who were doing some cooking.
”They started going through the rooms looking to take things and came across the two British brothers who put up resistance.
”All I could hear was the robbers shouting in Spanish ‘dollars, dollars’ and the sound of punching and slapping as they put up resistance.
”Five shots were fired. Four went into the wall and one killed the British holidaymaker.
”It all happened so quickly. The robbers raced out as soon as the shots were fired.”