Gang Truce worked on as shootings take one life and injure three Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:00

Three separate and unconnected shootings have left 3 Belize City residents injured, and one dead. It appears that all the victims were not the least bit connected to the gun violence which have affected their lives.

The first victim is 21 year-old Earlin Butler Jr. who was shot on Sunday, April 9, at his home on Rivero Street. It happened sometime around 7 a.m., and though not much is known about the incident itself, reports say that he was in his yard when someone approached him and shot him in the chest and abdomen.

He was rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment, and his family indicates that the doctors have managed to save his life. The expectation is that he will recover from the attack. As for the motive, well, that’s the subject of uncertainty and speculation. Butler is a clerk at the Vital Statistics Unit, and all reports on his character suggest that he is a hard-working youth who stays away from trouble and the street life.

The second pair of victims got injured at around 9 p.m. that same Sunday, about 14 hours later. They are 84 year-old Ignacia Alpuche, and her son, Miguel Alpuche, and they were socializing in their home on Antelope Street, when bullets came flying in.

Miguel Alpuche didn’t realize at first that he was shot, but he noticed the living room area was stained with blood, which turned out to be his. Ignacia Alpuche reportedly cried out in distress that she had been shot as well, but upon inspection, they realized that she was only grazed by one of the bullets. They have gone to the KHMH for medical treatment, and they have been released from the hospital.

The Alpuche family are sure that they aren’t the targets. At the time of the shooting, they were holding a memorial celebration for the loss of the family’s patriarch, who has been deceased for a year now. They are grateful that the shooting happened mostly after the rest of the family had already left.

The suspicion at this time is that gunmen were chasing a target who ran in the direction of the Alpuches’ Antelope Street home. That’s what caused some of the bullets to end up tearing through their living room.

The latest victim was Mario Guerra, a 39 year-old Salvadoran of Holy Emmanuel Street. On Tuesday, April 10, sometime after 7:30 p.m., he was a short distance away from his home, and he was in the company of a friend when 2 young men arrived in a van. They jumped out, and opened fire, shooting him multiple times. He died right on of the spot, and it has his neighbours stunned. Residents say that he was easy going and friendly to everyone he met. He was not a troublemaker, and so the violence which ended his life is a stark contrast from the way he lived it.

Police don’t believe at this time that his murder was gang related, and as for the 2 other shootings, it is unclear what caused them.

While those shootings may not necessarily be gang related, the Eastern Division South’s mediation team has been working with the major gang leaders. They are trying to iron out a truce before the Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams is transferred out of the Eastern Division. It has been slow moving, but there is progress.


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