Death waited for man headed to a party
A Belize City fisherman who is the father of five children will not be with his family for Christmas this year. George Rochester was gunned down on Saturday night in Ladyville as he was making his way to a party. He was shot multiple times by an unknown gunman. At least one man was seen fleeing shortly after the shots were blasted. Police haven’t been able to determine a motive but his wallet was located at the scene. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has the following report on the latest murder.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Around nine-forty five on Saturday night, thirty seven year old George Kareem Rochester, had just gotten off a bus and was walking here on Quilter Avenue in Ladyville Village when he was violently targeted. These sprinkles of bloodstains are all that remain after he was shot at least four times:
“This is not too far from a new establishment where they saw the lifeless body of George Rochester, thirty-seven years, with four apparent gunshot wounds, one to the face, both legs and somewhere in the chest area. Our initial investigations reveal that Rochester exited a bus and walked through Quilter Street where his assailant opened fire on him. The person was seen fleeing the area.”
According to George Rochester Senior, that same night he said his good-byes to his son, as he was heading back to the U.S the following day. But less than two hours later, he got the news that his son was murdered while on the way to a party:
George Rochester Sr., Father of the deceased
“He’s been living back in Belize for a few years and he started doing some fishing and trying to do a livelihood in that sense. I came back ten days ago for vacation and I visited with him and family members and friends and so on and so forth. Saturday night he came by where I was and we said our good-byes, meaning that I was supposed to board the next flight on Sunday back to Los Angeles and he told me he was gonna go to a party in Ladyville and about an hour and a half later I heard that he was shot and that he passed away.”
“Did he give you anymore information about the party where he was going? Was it with relatives? With friends?”
“Yeah, it was with a relative up in Ladyville, I don’t want to disclose names or anything, but he said he was going up to Ladyville for a party up there and before you know it, he was dead.”
Rochester Sr. says that his son was a fisherman and to his knowledge, he was not engaged in conflict.
George Rochester Sr.
“As far as I know he tried to steer clear from a lot of the problems that do exist and he did his fishing and so on and so forth and he never indicated to me that there could be a problem or something of that nature. He’s got three kids in Los Angeles, and he’s got two kids here in Orange Walk in Belize, and so yeah, he leaves behind five kids, and I would like the killer to know that.”
While close friends and relatives of Rochester say that his bag and cell phone were never found, police discovered his wallet. At this time no motive has been established:
Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood
“So far we haven’t established any motive but we are following several leads and hope to identify the assailants soon.”
Living abroad, Rochester says the violence in Belize has hit home for him:
“I would just like to say that he is a beloved son and it is just painful to see what somebody could do and all the violence that has been happening, and all this must come to an end. It’s gotta stop because it is giving Belize a really bad name. People wanna come vacation, people wanna come do stuff here and enjoy our beaches and our cayes and so on but you know. When I am abroad, I always lift up Belize’s name and now this, but you know it is still my home country and I will always love Belize, period.”
Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.
According to reports, two persons were being questioned in connection with this incident.Email This Story