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May 28, 2020

Businessman Murdered; Cops Believe It Was a Hit!

Xinwu Zhu

A man was executed in Belize City before the start of the curfew hours on Wednesday night. A Chinese business man was shot and killed outside of his business in Belize City after six o’clock on Wednesday evening. And tonight police are digging into the investigation to find out why. The killing, which happened in front of Joe Zhu Shop was captured on surveillance cameras in the area – and police say that footage paints a very telling picture of a targeted hit. It would appear that the gunman was sent there with instructions to murder Zhu and that is what he did. A representative of the Belize Chinese Association says they are puzzled by the murder and have no clue why Zhu was killed. Here’s the story with Andrea Polanco.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

It’s a frightening and callous murder – captured on video. Wednesday evening, just before six-thirty, thirty-eight-year-old Xinwu Zhu was sitting on the steps in front of his shop and hair salon when a man, whose face is covered, rode up on a bike. The man casually walks up to a shop window –  pretending as if he wanted to buy – as he looks over to where Zhu is sitting, he puts his hand in his pocket and takes out a gun. He fires shots at Zhu – who runs for cover – but it appears that Zhu was already hit. The killer ran away from the scene, leaving his bike behind, and he fired more shots in Zhu’s direction. An injured Zhu seems to call out for help, unable to get up. Police responded to scene.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Police received calls of shots fired on Fourth Street Kings Park, Belize City. Police responded and upon arrival they saw Mister Zhu suffering from gunshot injuries. He was taken to hospital and he underwent an operation yesterday evening and came out of surgery about midnight last night in a critical condition.”


The hair salon owner, better known as Joe-Joe didn’t survive the shooting. He died sometime in the early hours of this morning. So, why was Zhu killed? Police say nothing suggests that it’s a robbery and everything points to an execution – someone wanted Zhu dead.


Chester Williams

“We have looked at the video and tried our best to analyze it and it would appear to me that it was a hit because the person went directly to shoot to him. If you can see the man was sitting down eating and the person came up to the window, looked at him, took out the gun and just fired shots. There was no exchange of words between them. Nothing to indicate that that it was a case of robbery. So, we believe that it was a targeted act.”


Police say no motive has been established for this killing – but it is early yet in the investigation – so authorities will be taking a closer look Zhu’s wider network. Commissioner of Police explains that it is certainly not like other murders they deal with on a regular basis.


Chester Williams

“We have to interview the family properly with a view to see if he had any issue with anybody and we also need to look within his own community to see if there was any beef with him and anybody that may have led to this. So, it is a lot that we have to do to get to the bottom of this one. It is not what we are accustomed to, not what we normally see in terms of the shootings so forth. This for me, from analyzing the video was a targeted hit.”


And at this time police don’t have a suspect. The killer concealed his identity with a face covering. The police recognizes the problem this creates during the time of pandemic, where criminals are using the mandatory face mask regulation to hide their identities and commit crimes.


Chester Williams

“I have looked at the video intensely and the shooter is of fair complexion for sure. It is not a person of dark complexion. So, we are looking at probably a person of Hispanic or Asian descent.”


Hipolito Novelo

“In terms of the face covering, do you think the shooter used that to his advantage?”


Chester Williams

“Well, of course. I have given a directive to officers today that whenever they come across persons who use face covering that covers the entire face and then a cap on top of that and you cannot see who they are, that those persons will be stopped, they must be allowed to take off the masks or face covering and so that police can see who they are and then they can put it back on and go about their business. It is something we have to look at because we know that people will use that as an advantage while they go and commit crime while concealing their identity. So, the police will have to crack down on those persons who use those entire face covering. We cannot operate like that.”


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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