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January 10, 2022

Murder victim was shot dead after being released from police custody; police mum on link to previous shooting

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Posted: Monday, January 10, 2022. 4:14 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize City’s first murder victim, Daniel Lopez, died in unusual circumstances. Lopez was killed by one of two armed assailants in a SUV about two blocks away at the corner of Faber’s Road Extension and Arlington Drive on Sunday night.

Police Department Communications Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Fitzroy Yearwood, confirmed that Lopez had been in police custody in relation to the shooting of Andrew Staine on Saturday night.

“To be very honest with you it is sad and unfortunate that someone that was released from our custody met his untimely demise. But that only goes to show you that we at the Police Department are tasked with a very difficult job; we have to investigate reports…and if the Police knew that he would have been harmed upon being released, I am certain that the officers would have tried everything in their power to ensure [he was not harmed,]” Yearwood said at a police briefing this morning.

Several persons have been detained for questioning in connection with the murder. Several persons were also detained in connection with the Staine shooting, Lopez among them.

According to Lopez’s family, “old beef” was responsible for his murder. Asked how difficult it is for young men affected by these petty grudges to traverse the streets, ASP Yearwood suggested that the simplest of things can cause friction and that the family should come forward with information supporting their theory as it relates to motive.

He also pointed out that as far as the Police are concerned they do not respect so-called “gang territory” and no-go zones, but unless absolutely necessary, individuals subject to these should try their best to keep themselves safe by cooperating with authorities.

ASP Yearwood told us that at this time the assailants are unknown and he would wait for investigators to report before discussing retaliation as a possible motive.

 

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