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Dec 23, 2009

Christopher Galvez murdered after being picked up by friend

Story PictureTwo murders in two days, it is not exactly a record for the violent streets but it is still chilling. The ninety-second murder occurred just after eight on Tuesday night at a boat yard on the Western Highway. The victim is a former cyclist, who worked at Red House, his family’s wholesale business. Christopher Galvez was picked up at home by a friend and shortly afterwards, he was killed execution style. News’ Five Marion Ali has been following this latest murder and has a report.

Martin Galvez, Father of Murder Victim
“He was only just thinking of getting back into the cycling. I was in negotiation with some guys in Guatemala for him to go train over there but that won’t happen now.”

Marion Ali, Reporting
That opportunity for a cycling career will not happen for twenty-three year old Christopher Galvez because just two nights before Christmas he was murdered execution style. The incident happened while Galvez was sitting alone in a vehicle at around eight thirty-on Tuesday night at Pipersburg Boat Yard at mile two and a half on the Western Highway. He had only left home a few minutes earlier after his family business, Royal Wholesale on Vernon Street, closed at eight. His father, Martin Galvez, says a close friend came to pick him up and that was the last time he saw his son alive.

Martin Galvez
“He got into the vehicle and smiled as usual, always smiling and he said I’m coming back. I said fine and he left. He said I’m coming back, I said fine and he left.”

Marion Ali
“What do you think happened to him?”

Martin Galvez
“I don’t know, I hate to speculate but it seems that he was lured out to that area there to be shot.”

But this was not the first time that Chris Galvez had been shot. In 2008, he suffered four bullet wounds in a shooting at Putt Putt Night Club that claimed the life of a young woman. Martin Galvez says he does not know if his son had enemies.

Martin Galvez
“We all have enemies, I don’t know. If he was involved in any type of illicit activity I can’t tell you and I won’t judge or condemn or swear for anybody.”

When police found his body, several very expensive pieces of jewelry, his cell phone and his wallet containing cash, were missing. But even though it had all the signs of a robbery, his family believes his murder was a set up.

Yolanda Shakron, Aunt of Murder Victim
“He was here, fifteen minutes later he was with his friend and he got killed. That’s weird. I think it was just shown like he was robbed. We know the chain and everything. They took his phone, his wallet, we called his phone.”

Marion Ali
“But you don’t think it was just a robbery? You think it was deeper than that?”

Yolanda Shakron
“I believe so.”

Marion Ali
“What makes you say that?

Yolanda Shakron
“The way he was killed, execution style and so quick and his friend nothing happened to his friend.”

Clement Palacio, Police Press Officer
“The victim was seen bleeding profusely and collapsed under a shed.”

Marion Ali
“Do police believe this was a hit or a mere robbery?”

Clement Palacio
“Again, I think it would be premature for us to impugn any motive as is the basis of your question. The investigation is ongoing and we’ll say that police have in custody a person of interest.”

That person of interest is Andre Aguilar, the friend who had picked up Galvez earlier. Aguilar is presently in custody but has told police that he left Galvez inside the vehicle to go check out a boat at the back of the boatyard. He had reportedly contracted a boat builder to do repairs on a boat and it was while he had left Galvez that the incident occurred.

The vehicle in which Galvez was shot was parked adjacent to this bloody blue car at the boatyard. Galvez was shot to his neck and police have retrieved a nine millimeter expended shell from the scene. It’s a killing for which his family says they don’t want revenge.

Martin Galvez
“I will ask for forgiveness for these people who killed my son. At the end of the day I don’t want anybody to retaliate on my behalf or on any behalf of the Galvez family. We don’t need that; Belize doesn’t need that at this point.”

Yolanda Shakron
“I just want the violence to stop. These young people have to stop.”

Marion Ali for News Five.

Aside from his father, Galvez leaves behind two sisters, two brothers and a two year old son. As a teen, Galvez excelled as a junior cyclist and represented Belize in Cuba and Chetumal. Police are also questioning one of their own who was seen leaving the scene when investigators arrived.

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