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Dec 10, 2018

Murder at Pier One; Asher Saunders is Executed

Asher Saunders

Police are tonight looking for the gunman responsible for the murder of Asher Saunders. The twenty-year-old Bagdad Street resident was sitting at the bar of the Pier One night club when a single shot to the left of his head ended his life. As music blared and patrons moved around, Saunders was executed within minutes of a fight between rivalry gangs just before midnight on Friday night. A nine millimetre expended shell was retrieved from the bar. The club is located at the B.T.L. Park where hundreds of persons, including children, congregate for fun activities. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A twenty-year-old Bagdad Street resident was executed at a popular bar in Belize City. Asher Saunders was shot to the head and died within minutes as he socialized at Pier One located in the B.T.L. Park on the entertainment strip. Today, when News Five spoke with the mother and sister of the deceased, they were overwhelmed and wished not to provide an interview at this time. They also said that police had not given the family access to the body nor had they officially spoken to them about what transpired. Hours later, this is what the police would say.

 

Alejandro Cowo

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

“Precinct three police responded to a shooting incident at Pier One and as a result upon arrival, they were informed that the victim, who was identified as Asher Saunders of a Bagdad Street address, was rushed to the K.H.M.H. suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. Upon police’s arrival at the hospital, Mister Saunders had passed away.”

 

The murder was the result of fight at the bar between rivalling groups. As police and security personnel intervened a single blast echoed within the establishment; Saunders had been shot to the back of the head. But what was the motive behind this murder?

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“The investigation is pointing that yes he was the intended target.”

 

Reporter

“Reports suggest that this is a retaliation for the murder of Arthur Flowers…”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

 

“We do not have that information that it might be because of that shooting incident.”

 

The Pier One Bar has been in the news several times for violent incidents; the most recent was a brawl in September in which several persons were stabbed and many others injured and rushed to the hospital. To date, only one person has been charged for that incident. But what is department doing to mitigate the number of incidents at the establishment, despite police presence?

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Police do not control the issue of liquor license to this establishment. They recommend to the Liquor Licensing Board on any event or whatever happens in these establishments and police recommend if it is to be closed or open. That is the recommendation from the police department. Yes we recommend that officers work because of the different types of people that frequent these businesses and because of what had happened previously. So there are always police officers working at these establishments. The main function is for them to preserve law and order.”

 

Reporter

“So how did a gun enter the establishment?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well I know that it is the duty of the police to search anybody who they believe or suspect might have a weapon, but it is them who perform the duties out there.”

 

Many have opposed the installation of a bar within a recreational space for families and children. Back in September, Mayor Bernard Wagner commented on Pier One and its future.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor [September 20th, 2018]

“Pier One they have a lease and that lease to the best of my knowledge expires early 2019. I believe at around April and then we will look at that lease agreement. Certainly we at the City Council do not believe that a bar should be in the immediate area of B.T.L. Park. The lease expires. We will take a hard look at it and see. Clearly we as a council do not believe that a bar should be in the close confines of B.T.L. Park.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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