Elderly man stealing mangoes, shot dead with pellet gun

By Marion V. Ali
Staff Reporter

Relatives of Daniel Trapp, 60, have called on the police to treat his shooting as a murder because they feel that the man who shot him used excessive force. The shooter used a pellet rifle on Trapp around 9. on Saturday morning just off Perez Road in Ladyville.

Trapp, who used to sell fruits and scrap metal for a living, had stopped by the yard to pick mangoes off two trees when the owner of the trees saw him and told him to leave. One eye-witness reported that Trapp took no heed to the warning, and instead of leaving, went on to climb another tree in the yard.

The home owner, seeing that Trapp had ignored his warning, pulled out a pellet rifle and fired a shot just as Trapp was bending down to pick up the mangoes he had taken from the tree.  The bullet penetrated his chest and penetrated his heart, killing him.

Trapp’s family members are upset because they say the man who shot Trapp had known him for many years.  That man, 47 year old Hilberto Perez, was charged on Monday with manslaughter, based on statements from residents who say that he did not mean to kill Trapp. 

Those residents say Perez had aimed for Trapp’s feet, but the bullet struck the elderly man in the chest because he was in the process of bending over to pick up the mangoes when Perez fired the shot.  Police have taken the pellet gun as evidence.

Trapp managed to walk a few feet after the bullet hit him, but he collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital in Ladyville, which reportedly had no doctor on duty.  By the time Trapp could be taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, he was already dead.

Trapp’s relatives also feel that instead of using a gun, the owner could have used a stick or something with less deadly force to ward off the intruder..
HilbertoPerez has been remanded to prison until July 22nd. 

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