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Aug 1, 2017

Wilfred Malcolm: was shooting victim an unlucky thief or innocent?

Wilfred Malcolm

There are more questions than answers in the fatal shooting of a fisherman in South Stann Creek. Wilfred Malcolm was along with a friend when a single gunshot from a security guard at a shrimp farm caused his immediate death. The Malcolm family believes he was murdered when he got lost during a thunder storm and wandered onto the shrimp farm. But was he one of two thieves trespassing on the property in search of copper wires? While Independence police have since detained the security guard, they are awaiting instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.  It is unclear at this time whether the sixty-year-old watchman will be charged for murder or whether the unfortunate incident was indeed a case of self-defense. News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed south today and spoke with Malcolm’s relatives, as well as employees at the shrimp farm.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-five-year-old Wilfred Malcolm will be laid to rest in Bella Vista Village on Wednesday, amid the controversy that surrounds his shooting death over the weekend.  The fisherman, along with a friend of his, came under gunfire in the early hours of Sunday morning when they were caught trespassing on private property.  According to Wilfred’s sister, the pair was returning from a fishing trip on Saturday night and accidentally wandered onto Aqua Mar’s sprawling shrimp farm when they got lost during a rainstorm.  Reina Vanega’s account of the unfortunate incident is informed by what her brother’s friend confessed to her on Monday.

 

Reina Vanegas, Sister of Deceased

Reina Vanegas

“They went fishing and on their way out they got lost around the shrimp farm because there is a creek behind the shrimp farm where almost everyone goes fishing there, but that night it was raining and thundering, lightning and according to this person, my brother’s friend, they got lost and on their way out, this guy said he only heard one shot.”

 

That deadly blast came from a shotgun carried by Gerardo Coc, a night watchman employed along with five others to guard Aqua Mar Belize Limited.  During the downpour, the security guard reportedly sought shelter under this shed when he was startled by a pair of men who may have also been seeking refuge from the storm.

 

Eduardo Majano

Eduardo Majano, Chief Electrician, Aqua Mar Belize

“They called me in because dehn tell me that someone had gotten shot and I come een and I went to the pond side, sih di man laying down and I asked the security guard weh happen.  Ih seh, “bwai.”  So di man seh that it was very quick.  Ih seh it was very, very quick.  Ih seh it was rainy, hard rain, dark and these guys approached him and he was afraid for his life noh and he hurry reacted and he fired one single shot and he hurry run away and gaan call the other security guard.”

 

By that time, Wilfred was on the ground bleeding profusely from multiple pellet wounds to the back and head.  His friend, or accomplice, depending on whose version of events seems more credible, had long since fled the scene of the shooting. Eduardo Majano responded to the call for help from his coworkers, only to find a mortally wounded interloper.

 

Eduardo Majano

“Mein I feel so sorry for ahn because da mi somebody young noh, wah young guy and he was still breathing.  Well ah gaan deh fu try assist di man and a ker ahn to the polyclinic.  So we just, the guys dehn pick up di body, ah mean ih neva dead yet, the guys dehn pick ahn up and we set some cardboards and so and put it eena di vehicle and transport and to the clinic.”

 

That was sometime around three a.m.  When Independence police were summoned to the polyclinic they found the lifeless body of John Doe.  It wasn’t until later that afternoon that Wilfred Malcolm’s brother-in-law, a police constable, came forward to identify his remains.  So was this a cold blooded murder or was it simply a case of self-defense?

 

Reina Vanegas

“Definitely it was intentional, because how can you shoot in the air and hit a person on the head.  That was very intentional and we want justice for our brother.  We are waiting on the authorities.  We want justice, justice for our brother because we consider it as murder.”

 

Eduardo Majano

“He was very nervous and I guess up to yet, he is in jail and up to yet this, actually this incident has marked this man for the rest of his life, you know, so it’s very, very hard for him, you know.”

 

To fully grasp the seriousness of this difficult situation, one has to understand the lay of the land.  Aqua Mar Shrimp Farm sits on over three thousand acres of land, a thousand five hundred of which is being used for various ponds.  Over the past two weeks, thieves have gained access to the compound and have made off with twenty-eight thousand dollars in copper wires, severely disrupting operations and hitting the owner quite hard in the pockets.  This vast expanse is bounded by Independence Village on one end and Bella Vista Village on the other and it remains unfenced.

 

Dean Forman, Farm Manager, Aqua Mar Belize

Dean Forman

“So we have a lot of people, they would come in especially when we have shrimps in the ponds and they would come in to harvest shrimps on their own, steal shrimps and then also because we have a lot of electrical wires on the farm, they would come and cut the electrical wires and use it for their home us.  And we have from all over, people coming really, into the farm.  We have about six security guards that we rotate them every three hours to patrol the farm and so we know the hotspots where these people would come into the farm and try to thief electrical wires especially.”

 

Was Wilfred Malcolm one of those intruders?  Employees at the farm say that they were able to recover a large pair of wire clippers from the scene of the shooting.  On the other hand, his sibling vehemently denies that her younger brother was indeed a thief.

 

Reina Vanegas

“I think he was mistaken because a month ago, the people, I heard the people made a report that somebody was stealing copper wire but that can’t be my brother because he was coming out of the place and he was shot on the back.  His back is full of holes and one of the bullets come through here and come through here.  And the security guard alleged that he fired a warning shot in the air, but that is not possible.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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1 Response for “Wilfred Malcolm: was shooting victim an unlucky thief or innocent?”

  1. Marwaione says:

    Story is unfortunate, some reporting from both sides doesn’t sound right. It was raining/lightning so to have shot someone in that weather is not intentional unless he knew they were coming for him. When someone gets shot the bullet goes through so you know the position it hit first. Good luck in getting the truth.

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