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Nov 24, 2016

Nelson Zelaya Slaughtered in Front of Family in Gardenia

Nelson Zelaya

The silence in Gardenia Village was broken this afternoon by reports of gunshots.  When the shooting subsided, a resident of the quiet roadside community lay mortally wounded in his driveway.  Twenty-seven-year-old Nelson Zelaya had been shot at close range by someone he reportedly knew.  The midday murder has Ladyville police working diligently trying to determine who killed Zelaya and where that person or persons could have fled.   This afternoon, News Five’s Andrea Polanco headed north to speak with the family of the slain villager.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Shortly before midday, twenty seven-year-old Nelson Zelaya was shot and killed at his home in Gardenia Village on the Philip Goldson Hwy.  Every day, Zelaya would come and rest here in this hammock to the back of his property. And today, as he was making his way over to his house where his wife and kids were, he was shot in the face at this spot. The bloody driveway and clothes tell of the extent of his injuries. He died hours later in the hospital.


Juanito Cocom

ASP Juanito Cocom, OC, Ladyville Police

“Upon the arrival, about a hundred yards from a wooden house, they observed  dark skinned male person lying on his back, bleeding profusely to his face. He was identified as Nelson Zelaya, twenty-seven year old laborer of that same address. At the time, he was still alive and police rushed him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”


Police were processing the scene and canvassing the property after the shooting. Atleast one of the Gardenia resident’s children witnessed his shooting. Ann Olivera is his neighbour and grandmother. She wasn’t home when it happened and arrived to police canvassing the back of the yard:


Ann Olivera

Ann Olivera, Grandmother of Murder Victim

“When I come yah, this man di tell me say we got some news fi yo. And I say weh kinda news unu could have fi me because I know all my people deh dah states, so only if dah news from them. And then he say look back there and when I look dah wah lotta police back there. but me never know dah weh happen. But he di tell me dehn kill Nelson. But ih get wah lee baby gial deh weh bout three years and she see everything because when I gone over there just now she tell me that she see the bwai weh kill ih pa and she know the bwai weh kill ih pa. Ih say the bwai eat around fi dehn table deh; the lee one weh bout three to four years.”


From all accounts, it appears that Zelaya was lay waited by his killers who ran into bushes after the shooting. Police say they have eyewitness testimony to help in cracking this murder:


ASP Juanito Cocom

“So far we have interviewed some people, we have recorded statements and from the statements there might be persons that saw what transpired.”



“Is there any threat made to Mister Zelaya’s life prior to this incident?”


ASP Juanito Cocom

“Nothing that we know of. If there was any threat, nothing was reported to the police.”



“What could you tell us about the weapon used  in this murder?”


ASP Juanito Cocom

“Like I told you the investigation is very young and the postmortem will give us an idea of the weapon was used to commit this crime.”


For Olivera, the death of her grandson didn’t come as a shock. To the family, it was just a matter of time that something like this would happen to him. They say he followed the wrong crowd:


Ann Olivera

“I neva does find no fault with Nelson. The only fault I find with Nelson dah because ih like too much company and I study tell ah bout deh company weh ih got. All weh yuh could do dah advise them if they want take it. but no time yo di give them advise and they wah take it. They rather be with the young ones like themselves. Many times ah talk to ah.”


Andrea Polanco

“So you weren’t surprised when you heard that…”


Ann Olivera

“No, I never. Last week or week ago last, I tell ahn. Weh happen I di wonder, I see wah chair dah di back ah di place, nearly close to mi husband grave back there. I say weh this chair di do yah. Ih say I come back yah fi hide from the police dehn. I say Nelson, if you noh do nothing, why yo di hide from the police? Ih say dehn like harass mi too much; that’s why I keep way dah back yah by myself. But I coulda neva say ina mi mind when I di advise ahn ih cuss me; ih nuh tell me nothing.”


Andrea Polanco

“Suh how the family the tek it?”


Ann Olivera

“Oh ih look like dehn noh di take it good. The sister tell me that she mi done make up ih mind; she tell ih ma that ih have to make up ih mind because they study talk to Nelson, and Nelson noh pay them no mind. So she sit down and talk to ih ma and tell ahn yo have to expect anything. So this noh come like no sudden thing to them. That dah weh she tell me; ih noh come sudden to she cause she mi di expect it.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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