The execution-style deaths of two Lebanese businessmen this week may be related, police say.
Police investigators say they will look into the possible connection between the murders of car dealer Abdul Aziz Mohamed Dib, 40, and Alfredo Shackron, 51, owner-operator of Mega Bingo and JEC.
They were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, within 20 hours of one another.
The police are yet to report any motive for the put-down, but the Ministry of National Security was quick to issue a press release to assure Belize City residents that the murders “do not reflect the overall mood in the city’s streets with respect to gang-related violence.”
The release also calls on the public to assist the police in bringing these killers to justice.
Shackron was killed as he left the Body 2000 Gym on Coney Drive.
He was about to enter his Toyota Sequoia parked in front of the gym around 9:40 am, when a black SUV without license plates pulled up
Two of the occupants got out and tried to muscle Shackron into their SUV.
There was a struggle as Shackron resisted, and when he cried out for help, the men shot him to the neck, his chest and left torso.
A second vehicle then approached as Shackron collapsed. Its occupants observed him briefly, as if to make sure he was dead, before both vehicles sped off towards Buttonwood Bay.
Shackron apparently died on the spot, but his body was removed and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, before the Police Department’s Scene of Crime technicians arrived.
Police reported that they recovered two 9mm and one .22 calibre expended shells from the scene, which suggests that he was shot by at least two gunmen.
“Police have reasons to believe that this is not a random act of violence, nor is it gang related, and that the murder has all the appearances of being an organized hit having to do with a business deal gone sour,” a police release explained.
Shackron, who has been living in Belize for the last sixteen years, is the estranged spouse of social activist Yolanda Shackron. The Shackrons have two teen-aged children.
Dib was killed while he was having lunch at the newly opened King Kabob Restaurant at the Farmers Market, near the Belcan Bridge.
A dark complexioned man, dressed in black and wearing a mask, pushed his way into the restaurant, disregarded the other patrons and shot Dib in the chest and belly and in his head and lower back.
A number of Lebanese men gathered outside the restaurant as police removed Dib’s body from the crime scene.
Police say they recovered 9 expended 9mm shells from the scene.
After shooting Dib, the gunman jumped on a bicycle and rode off in the direction of Freetown Road.
An eye witness who was inside the restaurant and who had stepped out just as the gunman entered, said that this was a Lebanese gathering place, and everyone, including Dib who had his back turned towards the door, was seated for a meal when the shooter attacked.
Dib, the 40-year-old used car dealer, used to go to the United States on average once a month to bring cars.
Dib has one brother who lives in Belize, but the other members of his family, including his children, live in the United States.