Woman shot in the chest, her 9-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son injured Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 March 2018 00:00

Bernadine Lauriano, a 52-year-old resident of Aloe Vera Street, was shot and killed inside her house during the 3-day weekend. Her 9-year-old daughter and her 20-year-old special needs son were also injured in the attack at her home. It is suspected at this time that the shooter went looking for another of her sons, but settled with hurting them instead.

Police say that at around 9:40 p.m. on Friday, March 9, police visited the KHMH, where they found 52 year-old Bernadine Lauriano suffering from multiple gunshot injuries to the chest and other parts of the body. Her 9 year-old daughter was being treated for a gunshot injury to the right toe. It wasn’t until the next day that the Lauriano family realized that her son, Denzel Lauriano, was injured to the left leg by a gunshot.

Police investigations are that the family were sitting in the living room of their house. That’s unfortunately, when a gunman barged into their yard, and fired several shots through their open front door at them. In the barrage, all 3 members of the Lauriano family were injured. The two females were rushed to KHMH as soon as possible, but the doctors couldn’t save Bernadine Lauriano’s life, despite their best efforts. She died while undergoing treatment. As soon as her son’s injuries became known, he was rushed to the KHMH, he remains in a stable condition.

Speaking about the senseless violence that claimed his sister’s life, Joe Lauriano told the press, “she knew the person. She grew up around with them. She knew the parents before the kids were born. When she saw the guy she shouted out his name. The guy just lost his mind and shot the lady. He knew her but because of wanting to spite her son he hurt the mother to make the son cry tears.”

His comments are corroborated at this time by police who also have a reason to suspect that Bernadine and her family were targeted because of her son.

Alejandro Cowo, Assistant Superintendent of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigations Branch in Belize City, briefly discussed it in a press conference following the weekend.

Cowo said, “We know that there is an ongoing dispute between family of the deceased and the suspect, and this goes way back from 2013. It’s a matter that this is always surfacing, and unfortunately, it escalated to this level with Miss Bernadine losing her life. However, it is very difficult for us, and we have to go by the evidence that we have at this moment. Yes, the suspects were detained and questioned in regard to that information, but unfortunately, we had to release them. We know that the public are out there, and we appeal to them. Whatsoever they have heard or seen, please inform us. It is something that we have to work along with you guys, so that we can put a stop to these shootings that are happening constantly in the city. We ask for your support.”

Bernadine’s brother told the press she discussed her concerns with him about the fact that she felt her life was in danger. He recounted that in one instance, they discussed how her son’s lifestyle could put her safety at risk. She became worried about the security issue that her house could come under fire. The one time she was not diligent in locking her front door, a shooter used to end her life.

In July of 2014, she was very fortunate to get the home donated to her by charitable organization, Hand in Hand Ministries. That home was where she lived, for almost 4 years, and it unfortunately became the place where she was fatally injured.

She is now the third sanitation worker from the Belize City Council who was killed in gun violence in 4 weeks.