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Oct 31, 2016

San Pedro’s Third Murder in Less Than a Week; Was Antonio Paguada Targeted?

Antonio Paguada

On Friday night, San Pedro recorded its fourth murder for the month of October. Antonio Paguada, a forty-four year old father of two, was killed a short while after he visited his family. San Pedro police believe that the San Pedro resident’s murder was a revenge killing for well-known drug peddler Jason Gillett who was killed in the exact same area in San Mateo just two nights before. The Paguada family fears for their lives and his wife and children are preparing to leave the island.  Since the shootings in that area, police are beefing up with additional law enforcement power on the ground to target the hotspot. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in San Pedro today and has this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Forty-four year old Antonio Paguada was killed here in San Mateo on Friday night. Shortly before eleven that night, Paguada left his family’s home and was walking along this street heading to his house when he met two men. His brother, who saw him thirty minutes before his death, heard the gun-shots.

 

Jose Armando Paguada

Jose Armando Paguada, Brother of Murder Victim [Translated]

“Well, the only thing is, I feel it a lot. He is my blood. He is my brother. The night that it happened, I had passed there may be about twenty faive minutes before he did. I saw the persons there but I never suspected that they were looking to kill him or kill someone or so. I passed and it was when I arrived home I heard the shots. I just went to bed and maybe like half an hour later my sister arrived to notify me that they had killed him. When I went there they had already picked up his body.”

 

Pagauda was shot multiple times. According to police, the San Pedro labourer received at least six shots to the stomach and upper part of the body.  Police believe this latest murder is in retaliation for the killing of Jason Gillett which happened on Wednesday. Gillett was shot and killed a few feet away from where Paguada was murdered on Friday night. Police are questioning two men in connection with this murder.Surveillance footage may be able help them to put together the pieces in this latest homicide.

 

Jose Armando Paguada [Translated]

“We went there and they examined the cameras that were around right where the murder happened. The camera shows where my brother fought with the men. You can see on the camera that my brother is going this way and the other one passed him. He took out the gun and my brother jumped on top of him. They struggled. And they shot him until they had him on the ground. That is why they only shot him on this part of the body. And just like that they killed him.”

 

Henry Jemmoth

ASP Henry Jemmoth, Acting O.C., San Pedro Police

“We have two persons of concern in our custody. We are thinking that it is a retaliation for the earlier shooting of Jason Gillett.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, how many gun shots did Mister Paguada receive?”

 

ASP Henry Jemmoth

“About six he received.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are the police looking into using anything from the surveillance cameras in the area to help solve these murders?”

 

ASP Henry Jemmoth

“Yes. We are using all methods. I must say that we are a modern police department and will be using all methodspossible. Also, with that same thing in mind, we are putting a proposal to put at least twenty surveillance cameras to put around San Pedro to assist in solving these crimes as well.”

 

While Police believe Paguada’s murder is connected to Gillett’s, the family isn’t ready to accept that. They say they have no idea why he was killed but they are certain he had no dealings with anyone from that area.

 

Jason Gillett

Jose Armando Paguada [Translated]

“I don’t know the reason why my brother was killed. I only know my brother as someone who works. No. He didn’t have enemies. That day he was still working right up to eight in the night.  Yes, this is the first time someone has made an attempt on his life. The only thing with him is that he liked to drinkbut nothing more than a quarrel would happen. He would only drink and enjoy himself. So, not even me could tell you why he was killed. I don’t know. The truth is I don’t know anything.”

 

And right now San Pedro Police are trying to clean up San Mateo and other hot spots. The spike in recent gun violence in the area has pulled out the GSU and other law enforcement teams who have been conducting operations to curb the shootings and catch the drug peddlers.

 

ASP Henry Jemmoth

“What we have done within that area and we have been doing since the first shooting, is to have a proactive approach to it; to have police presence within that area, protecting that area. Since then we have gotten the assistance from Eastern Division North Deputy Mr. Grinage who is here assisting us with operations. We have the Gang Suppression Unit, Strike Team from Belize City, the QRT from San Pedro and also the relief personnel who assist with upholding law and order within these areas that are problematic.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, is there an underlying issue, like drugs, that is causing all these exchanges of gun violence on the island. I believe this is the fourth (murder) correct me if I am wrong, for this month?”

 

Jose Armando Paguada

“There are three that might stem from the same type of incidence. San Pedro, like I say it, is like a mini-city and the demand from the tourist for drugs cause people to migrate to San Pedro also persons from the criminal element of Belize. Our job here is to let these people know that we will be after them every day.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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