Alexander Palacio Murdered in Punta Gorda
Weeks ago, Alexander Palacio was released from prison on parole for a manslaughter conviction. But his life was taken over the weekend in Punta Gorda where he was seeking refuge following his release from prison. On Friday night, a duo of shooters appear to have monitored his movements and then fired the fatal shots as Palacio headed to his aunt’s house in the town. Alexander is the third member of the Palacio family to be killed in gun violence, but is the first murder victim in Punta Gorda for 2017. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
A burial space atop his grandfather’s tomb facing the Caribbean Sea, the final resting place for thirty-five-year-old Alexander Palacio. The parolee was released just a few weeks ago, after having served a stint at the Belize Central Prison. On Friday night, sometime after seven o’clock, Palacio was walking in the vicinity of Indianville when he came under fire. A pair of men had waylaid him and struck with extreme prejudice when the opportunity presented itself.
“I was at home in the evening, this is around, between after six. I was at home and Alex came in and he looked for a piece of paper, perhaps to write down something and he left. But I told him that it was time to make tea so why don’t he stay and make tea noh. So he said no, he is coming back in a little while, he will then help me whenever he comes back. [He] said he would come back in just few minutes. So when he left he went to his aunt who lives nearby. And when he left his aunt to the street someone was waiting perhaps, because I was not there. They shot him to his back and he ran, so his back was towards the gunman I should say. So they shot him couple times to the back and he ran and he fell to the ground.”
Alex, as his father calls him, had a troubled past, becoming involved with gangs and criminal elements in Belize City at an early age. In 2007, he was convicted of manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of Wasani Belgrave. He was sentenced to sixteen years but was released on parole back in November.
Alejandro Palacio Jr.
“He was told not to go to Belize City because he was on parole and they wanted him at least in PG or somewhere else other than Belize City. So that’s the reason I was already here and so that was the reason why he ended up in PG, because I am his father one of the fittest persons to live with is me. I cannot say what actually happened but he was on a murder charge and the relatives of his victim live in Belize City so they said it’s better to come to PG. So here I am living in PG and he came to me and I was prepared for his stay.”
Despite seeking refuge in Punta Gorda, on the advice of his parole officer, Alex was not spared the wrath of the underworld. While a motive for his murder is yet to be determined, it is strongly believed that a previous dispute with a fellow inmate eventually led to his demise.
Alejandro Palacio Jr.
“I just came to try and locate the spot where my father was buried. So it will be on top of his grave that we will make the tomb for him, for my son. So that’s what we are doing out here this afternoon.”
For this father, the tragedy and the resulting heartbreak is compounded by the knowledge that his only remaining son met a similar fate as that of his siblings, cut down violently in a hail of bullets.
“I have to redo my life because I was depending on the last one, so I really don’t know how to think. I really don’t know how to go about continuing my life because my depend-upon has been taken away from me. So I am single and I just want to live my life one day at a time, but I am not happy, so I think I am out of words too due to my condition, my situation.”
Punta Gorda police, under instructions from the upper echelon of the Belize Police Department, did not make themselves available for comment. The release issued by the press officer indicates that Palacio’s killers fled the scene of the shooting immediately thereafter. According to the grieving father, at least one of the two men remains in police custody.
Alejandro Palacio Jr.
“The police has not given me any information but we just heard it from the people that they caught the gunman or not the one who, well they caught some person for the [shooting]. They are investigating but they have someone in custody, that’s the fittest words to say. They have some people in custody.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.