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Feb 2, 2016

2 Youths Gunned Down By Lone Gunman

Erlindo Matura Jr.

Two young men from Orange Walk Town are the most recent victims of gun violence. A brazen gunman, still on the lam, opened fire on seventeen year old Rene Antonio Acevedo and nineteen-year-old Erlindo Matura Junior as they stood on Gristock Street at about four-thirty on Monday afternoon. A third person, a minor, was with them, but he managed to flee from the spray of bullets. The gunman is believed to be a well-known marijuana peddler who has been identified by many witnesses. Today, both Acevedo and Matura families were still in shock at the brutal murders. And for the Acevedos it is even more painful having lost another family member months ago during an attempted robbery. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Murders number eleven and twelve for 2016 occurred on Monday afternoon in a double homicide on Gristock Street in the northern municipality of Orange Walk Town. Nineteen year old Erlindo Matura Junior and his friend, seventeen year old Rene Antonio Acevedo, were gunned down in proximity to their homes by a gunman who was known to them. Around four-thirty that day, Acevedo and a sixteen year old were visiting the Maturas when someone called out for Matura Junior. After a brief conversation on the street, the person pulled out a firearm and took aim at Matura Junior. His mother, Maria Matura, ran to his aid, but “Junn,” as he is affectionately known, died in her hands.

 

Maria Matura

Maria Matura, Mother of Murder Victim

“I was in my room in my house lying down…half an hour after that I heard some gunshots. I just jumped out of my bed and when I come outside, my other son said Junn get shot—ih dead, ih dead. And so I just run outside and I see my son out there on the road lying down with gunshots. He was face up, he was bleeding. He didn’t die at the instant. He just took one breath, smiled and died in my hands. That’s what I saw out there, but I couldn’t believe he was already gone; I didn’t believe my son was dead.”

 

Both minors ran from the shooter, but Acevedo was hit to the back of the head and died face down in a pool of his own blood several feet away from the motionless body of his friend.

 

Rene Acevedo

Lupita Rhaburn, Mother of Murder Victim

“My son and the other two young man mi stand up on the street side and when the gunman reach and shot the first young man, then my son and his friend start to run. And when they start to run, dehn shot after the next young man and the gun neva gone off and then the gun gone off on my son and that’s when they catch my son in the head back and he dropped and that was it.”

 

This morning, both families remain in disbelief that the lives of their teenage sons have been cut short. It is even more heart-wrenching for Lupita Rhaburn because this is the second of her four sons that she’s losing to gun-violence. Three and a half months ago, on October twenty-second, Acevedo’s older brother was killed in an attempted robbery at Kephawns Pawn Shop in Belize City.

 

Lupita Rhaburn

“Just three months ago, I lost my first son.”

 

Lupita Rhaburn

Reporter

“How did you lose him ma’am?”

 

Lupita Rhaburn

“I’m not proud of it. He was the young man that went to rob Monica Pawn Shop in Belize. I didn’t raise them like that; I talked to them and I told them the love of God. And I’m proud that this son also accepted Jesus in his heart.”

 

According to Police, the gunman was barefaced and his description has been given to investigators by several eyewitnesses and persons with whom he came in contact with while fleeing the area.

 

Selvyn Tillett

ASP Selvyn Tillett, O.C., Orange Walk Police Formation

“A male person who was dressed in blue T-shirt, three-quarter pants riding a bicycle asked both persons where they sell drugs. The man person then road off in a distance; some fifteen feet away from both persons and pulled out what appeared to be a handgun—silver and black in color. He pointed it towards Rene Acevedo and fired a single shot which hit him in the back of the head and he fell to the ground. Matura was shot to the back and the bullet protruded to the left side of his chest. The shooter then rode off in a pasture, took away a bicycle from a female and rode off making good his escape. Some residents set chase behind him, but to no avail. Said person stopped a vehicle that was heading towards Yo Creek Village and got on it as a passenger.”

 

Both murder victims have had several run-ins with the law in the past; in fact Matura Junior, Acevedo and the third minor were released from custody on Monday afternoon, just hours before the duo was gunned down. So what could have been the motive behind the cold-blooded murder of the teenagers?

 

ASP Selvyn Tillett

“The motive at this moment is uncertain. At this moment we have police out there investigating and following on certain leads at the moment.”

 

Reporter

“Any reason to believe it is gang related?”

 

ASP Selvyn Tillett

“At this moment, I cannot say if it is gang-related or other motive behind it.”

 

Maria Matura

“He was not involved with nobody, he didn’t have no problem with nobody because he was on probation. He had a court and they put him on probation and they told him that he could not give trouble—not even double riding—because if he did that, he would go to jail for three years. So he said Mom, it is time for me to change, time for me to settle down and so I need to change. From that, my son didn’t give no trouble, he didn’t go nowhere; he was right here with me.”

 

Lupita Rhaburn

“I could talk for my son. I can’t swear for my son. When my son deh home, he quiet…ih loving. Everybody got dehn lee ways, if he walk out of my house, he come and kiss me on my cheek. He would say mommy, I di come back, I gwen certain place. I could count the time he noh do it. He showed me a lot of love.”

 

Despite being overwhelmed by the loss of her son and his friend, today Rhaburn expressed forgiveness towards her son’s killer.

 

Lupita Rhaburn

“I just pray that whosoever do it know that God loves them. if they think that people out there noh love them, know that God loves them more than all the hurting families. And dah nothing easy, but with the strength and the love of God, he got me through; he did it with the first and he’ll do it with them one again.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “2 Youths Gunned Down By Lone Gunman”

  1. Jason says:

    Don’t know if its gang related but lots of 20s and 30s written all over-the mothers never noticed those while they were alive?

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