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Nov 21, 2022

San Pedro Businesswoman Robbed, Shot; Husband Murdered

Elvis Polanco

A businessman was shot dead in San Pedro and his common-law wife was also shot and robbed of their day’s sales. It happened in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, as Elvis Polanco and Thomasa Garcia were heading home. At the heart of the police investigation are a policeman on interdiction, who was employed as a security guard at the bar, and a former policeman who was dismissed earlier this year from the department, who was also at the bar. News Five’s Marion Ali went to the island to gather the details and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting
This fence shows where two bullets struck during Saturday morning’s robbery, and murder in the D.F.C. area of San Pedro. Gunshots broke the silence around five a.m. Forty-three-year-old Elvis Polanco, originally from Benque Viejo, and his common-law-wife, twenty-five-year-old Thomasa Garcia were returning to their Marina Drive home after purchasing food and watching the Garifuna Settlement Day festivities. But they didn’t make it home together. They were ambushed upon reaching the D.F.C. area.

Fernando Polanco

Fernando Polanco, Brother of deceased
“He just came out of the bush and start shooting directly at my brother and my brother run from the gulf cart, just a little bit and then he grab the money and he come out back again and shoot my brother again and I think that was the last bullet that caused my brother to die.”


Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt., Hilberto Romero, Officer Commanding Eastern Division

“Investigations reveals that they were heading home in a golf cart when they were ambushed by a male person who fired shots in their direction and stole a purse containing documents and an undisclosed amount of cash.  Thereafter the person made good his escape from the area.”


Police have made an arrest in connection with the incident, as Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero informed.


Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Paul Mortis, thirty-two years has since been charged with unlicensed firearm and ammunition.”


Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams also reported that they have two suspects, and both have a background with the police department.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“One is a police officer who is on interdiction and the other is an ex-police officer who had been dismissed months ago. In respect to the officer who is on interdiction, he was hired by the proprietor of that establishment as a security (guard) and certainly he is aware of the movements of the proprietor and from what we are gathering at this time is that they may have left the establishment just after closing, knowing the route that the proprietor takes and where he lives, they went and await him.”


Police have retrieved a nine millimeter pistol from the home of the interdicted policeman, Paul Mortis. The gun will be sent for ballistics testing to determine whether it was the weapon used in the crime. Mortis, according to Williams, holds a licensed firearm, but police have not been able to find it.


Chester Williams

“He has been questioned as to the whereabouts of that firearm and he is not been forthcoming in terms of the whereabouts of that firearm. So at this time we cannot day if the licensed firearm or the other firearm we found at the home, which is the illegal one, is the weapon of choice used.”


Police searched the murder scene and found a purse containing the money that Polanco had when he was shot. Williams feels that the thieves were surprised and left the money when Polanco jumped off the gulf cart in his attempt to escape. Garcia, nursing a wounded right hand, declined an interview, but Polanco’s brother, Fernando Polanco, shared what he knew with us. He said they relocated to the island almost twenty years ago looking for a better life.

Fernando Polanco

“He’s like a father to me, more than a father to me because we are poor people. We just came to this island to try to make something in life and. There are some bad people that don’t see that we just came to have a better life like everybody.”

Polanco is survived by four children, the youngest of whom is a four-year-old daughter. Her uncle said they are trying to help her cope without her father.

Fernando Polanco
“She was crying all around looking for her father around one a.m., last night when we had the get-together here, and that is really hard.”


The family says they don’t want revenge, only justice. Marion Ali for News Five.

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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