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May 22, 2018

Hot dog Vendor Cruelly Ambushed Outside Home, then Robbed

Juan Angel Vargas

A hot dog vendor of Belize City was robbed and shot dead in front of his home on Sunday morning. Forty-four-year-old Honduran businessman Juan Angel Vargas, who had lived in Belize for nearly twenty years, had just come home to Tigris Street from a night of vending and playing pool. While he and a co-worker were unloading his equipment a single gunman approached him from behind and fired two shots at Vargas, fatally wounding him. They then proceeded to steal his wallet containing personal documents and money, and his bag of sales of close to two thousand dollars. It appears simple, but his grieving family members had a few questions to ask today, which they shared with News Five’s Aaron Humes.

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Apparently they were following him, and wait till he came out, opened the back door of his vehicle, while his hands were full, then they ambushed him. While he had the icebox – because he had another worker with him that came out and took some stuff inside. They were alerted when they heard the first shot and then they heard another. They tried to come out, but apparently the robber was still doing what he knows best what to do…”

 

Aaron Humes

“He was searching Mr. Vargas?”

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Yes. And then my aunt was trying to come out [but the worker] was pushing her in back – he said ‘Don’t go out there! They are still there, they will kill you as well.’ So, they stayed there. After the police came which was very quick, they came out and they saw Mr. Vargas lying face down.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Police today confirmed that they view the murder of Juan Angel Vargas, a father of five, as a robbery, planned by persons so far unknown.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C. CIB Eastern Division

“Police in the area responded and as a result this matter is under investigation. Two person were detained and they had to be released because of insufficient evidence against them.”

 

Reporter

“Is it believed that Mr. Vargas was targeted for robbery, sir?”

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“During the investigation, police uncovered that his wallet and other personal items were missing from him.”

 

Reporter

“From all indications, sir, are you able to say if this was a working man targeted unfortunately by an armed robber?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes. We believe that it is [for] that reason why he was shot.”

 

But if the killer’s intent was to only rob Vargas, then why shoot him dead? It is a question the family wants answers to.

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Right now we can just speculate – we can’t say what really happened. Because it could be a hit; it could be robbery. Because he had a pool tournament to do and he didn’t show up, and he was a pro. And they didn’t all he had in his pocket. If they wanted to rob him, then someone would just go and point a gun at him and tell him, give me what you have.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So the question as we said, is why then would he be targeted?”

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Yes, and give him two shots? They wanted him dead – two shots!”

 

Aaron Humes

“Is it possible that he recognized who it was that was following him and they decided to silence him for that particular reason?”

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Exactly. Because they shoot him in the chest, and then I think he saw the person and he knew who it was, and they finished him with a shot to the head, which I don’t understand, because he was not a troublesome person.”

 

Vargas was a member of the tournament-winning Belize District team for the Guinness eight-ball pool tournament a few weeks ago and was scheduled to attend a tournament in Belmopan this weekend. But his nephew says he will be more remembered for his kindness and generosity.

 

Nephew of Deceased

“Mr. Vargas was kind to people. If he saw someone that needed something to eat and they didn’t have all the money, he would give them. If someone came and said they were hungry, he would give them. He was someone that liked to run jokes; I don’t know why they would target him.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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