By Alexis R. Milan
Three separate shooting incidents in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye this week have left one man dead and two others wounded as police try to contain the level of violence on the island.
According to Superintendent of Police, Luis Castellanos, the officer commanding San Pedro, the most recent shooting incident appears to have been as a result of a burglary in the San Pablo area. Around 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Jaime Manzano, 31, arrived home with his wife and after they entered their home, a gunman who came out of their bedroom confronted them.
The intruder fired several shots and Manzano was hit once to the right leg and once to each arm. After firing the shots the intruder fled through the front door. Manzano was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is listed in a stable condition.
Castellanos said police recovered a black knap-sack filled with the couple’s belongings from the scene. The items included an HP tablet, a Michael Kors watch, a gold chain and a pair of headphones.
The night before, a 38-year-old San Pedro store-owner was shot and killed in the San Pedrito area as he was attending to a customer in his store. His attacker was a gunman who entered and opened fire.
According to Castellanos, Pablo Barboza was in his store around 7:45 p.m. making a sale toHumberto Alcoser when a lone gunman wearing a cap and a blue rag around his face entered the shop and fired three shots. Barboza was hit to the head and chest.
After the gunman fired the shots, Alcoser tried to disarm the assailant but he ended up suffering a bullet wound to the neck. After Alcoser was shot, the gunman fled the area and both men were rushed to the San Pedro polyclinic.
Barboza was pronounced dead at 8:02 p.m. while Alcoser was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment and has been listed in serious but stable condition.
Castellanos said they have detained a few suspects in connection with this murder but their information has revealed that the assailant arrived and made his escape by way of a boat from a nearby lagoon. Castellanos also said police believe that Barboza was the intended target and the murder may be drug-related although that lead has not been confirmed.
The third shooting incident also happened on Tuesday night when a 26-year-old woman of the San Juan area was walking home and noticed two men following her. She hurried to her home and went upstairs, but when the men passed by, one of them fired a gunshot in the air. No-one was injured in that incident but police have detained and charged two men in connection with the incident.
Castellanos said since the level of violence has increased on the island police have introduced a quick response team assigned to troubled areas on the island. Police have increased their patrols and have met with the community in the hopes of receiving more assistance from them, Castellanos said.