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Dec 11, 2017

Security Guard Murdered; 2-Week Break in City Snapped

Baltazar Sarmeinto Ponce

For a period of two weeks since November twenty-fourth, there were no murders recorded in the city, but shortly after midnight on Friday, the lifeless body of Baltazar Sarmeinto Ponce was discovered at his workplace.  The Honduran watchman was shot to the head while on duty at Buca Shell Gas Station at two and a half miles Phillip Goldson Highway. Surveillance footage shows two men entering the compound from the Haulover Creek; Sarmiento is shot when he attempts to prevent them from entering the convenience store. The duo remains at large.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Buca Shell Gas Station at mile two and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway was the scene of the most recent murder in the Old Capital.  Sixty-one-year-old Honduran watchman, Baltazar Sarmiento Ponce, was on duty for the graveyard shift when he was alerted that two men were entering the compound through the mangrove from the Haulover Creek.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“On Saturday morning at about three fifteen a.m., police visited the Buca Shell located at two and a half miles Phillip Goldson Highway where they observed the motionless body of Baltazar Sarmiento with an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of the head. Mister Sarmiento is an employee of the Buca Shell Gas Station and he was working there when he was approached by two male persons, one of which fired a single shot causing injuries to him.”

 

Sarmiento’s body was discovered, almost two hours after he had been shot to the temple, at the rear of the convenience store. This sand-filled area marks where he collapsed and hemorrhaged to death. It is believed that the men were attempting to rob the convenience store just after midnight on Friday. Sarmiento intercepted the attempted burglary, but it cost him his life.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“We cannot establish if it was a robbery or they were trying to break into the establishment. We know that he was working there and that he was approached by two male persons; that is all. Nothing was stolen from him so far.”

 

Reporter

“So he wasn’t robbed of his firearm?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“He does not have a firearm.”

 

The elderly watchman has been living in Belize for just over fifteen years; he has a son with a hearing impairment who lived with him on Water Lane in Belize City.  Sarmiento was employed for fourteen years with J and B Security before he worked for shell independently up until his life was callously taken away. Police say that the murder was captured by surveillance cameras at the gas station, but unfortunately the police have no known suspects at this time.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“We have a footage that we are looking at that is assisting us in the investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Any leads to the suspects?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“No so far, we cannot establish the identity of the suspects so far.”

 

Reporter

“Sir now in terms of the surveillance footage that the department has, can it be said that the individual who pulled off this daring murder, his face was captured on camera?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“That is a part of the investigation that we cannot reveal at this moment. As I tell you, we are looking at the surveillance camera and that is assisting us with the investigation at this time.”

 

A post mortem exam will be conducted on Sarmiento’s body on Tuesday afternoon. Duane Moody for News Five.

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