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Mar 19, 2012

Jiovanni “Sally” Saldano murdered on West Street

Jovanni “Sally” Saldano

Turning to the weekend murders; in the old capital, a hail of bullets was unleashed on Jovanni “Sally” Saldano causing his immediate death early Sunday afternoon. Saldano attempted unsuccessfully to dodge the gunman but was executed as he entered a yard on West Street in close proximity of the Mesopotamia police substation. There are signs that the brazen murder may be gang related. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports on Saldano’s murder.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-eight year old Jovanni Saldano, was returning to his mother’s house with a soft drink shortly before one o’clock on Sunday afternoon when he was attacked by someone who shadowed him to their West Street residence.  Upon realizing what was about to take place ‘Sally’ tried desperately to flee his assailant by scrambling through a yard adjoining both properties.  That attempt was futile.

Raphael Martinez, Acting Police Press Officer

“Initial investigations revealed that on the same date Jovanni was heading home when he was approached from behind by a dark complexioned male armed, of course, with a gun and upon seeing this Jovanni ran into his yard but he was pursued by this individual this unidentified individual.”

The gunman, described as dark complexioned and fully outfitted in black, wore a green camouflage hat.  He proceeded into the yard where he broadsided Saldano with at least eight rounds.  Lovette Griffith, a family friend, was at a get together when she received word of the fatal shooting.

Lovette Griffith

Lovette Griffith, Family Friend

“The message came in distorted and so it took me about ten or fifteen minutes to realize that it was Jovanni who had been murdered.  [I was] shocked and then I had to call my mom and so all of that in itself took a toll on me.  My sister immediately went over and we’ve been with the family.”

According to his siblings, Saldano was hit a total of eleven times to various parts of the body.  They say that of a dozen rounds fired only a single charge of ammunition flew wide of its target.

Raphael Martinez

Raphael Martinez

“About 12:45 p.m. acting on information received the police visited number sixty-one West Street, Belize City where they saw the motionless body of a male person who was later identified as Jovanni Saldano, a Belizean barber of the same address and he was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the body.”

Incidentally, Saldano’s home is less than three blocks away from the Mesopotamia Police Substation.  It is strongly believed that he came under fire simply because of his acquaintances within the neighborhood.  It is no secret that there is enmity among rival factions in that area.

Lovette Griffith

“There aren’t words to describe when your loved one has been taken from you and so we ask the community at large to pray, pray for their peace, pray for other people’s peace, pray for forgiveness.  That’s a tremendous thing and it’s not something that you buy in the store, it is something that comes with grace and gratitude.  So that’s our biggest thing right now just to pray for peace and to leave it in the hands of the law because the law does their job.”

But for justice to take its course an arrest has to be made and charges must follow.  So far the Police Department has nothing to go by.

Raphael Martinez

“No one has been detained regarding this incident and police continue their investigation into this very, very unfortunate situation.”

Isani Cayetano

“Preliminarily would this be classified as something that may be gang related?  Do you know if he had any previous altercations or misunderstandings that would precipitate this act of violence?”

Raphael Martinez

“At this point we don’t have any information as such that would determine the motive for this killing.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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12 Responses for “Jiovanni “Sally” Saldano murdered on West Street”

  1. Storm says:

    Clean up the City, hang the killer.

  2. concerned says:

    So sad didn’t know him as someone that was involved in gangs. I guess now you don’t even have to be in gangs and have a criminal past to be killed. Everybody is walking around with guns just itching to use it have no idea what is wrong with Belize. RIP!

  3. SKALANGY says:

    what has become of Belize? all this shootings and killing of our own brothers….can’t we all live in peace???? … it’s hard to accept that someone so special and with a promising future be taken away so violently ….
    R.I.P SAlly,

  4. spesh says:

    i will missed those days when your brother Keon is making fun of you…. the laughter we had will always be treasured, you’re gone but not forgotten…R.I.P SALLY

  5. Buju says:

    Mek we stop pet and powder the handful of animals from George Street mein…

    They kill Aubrey Lopez and may other productive Belizeans and we still di ease they

    Deal with they like how we deal with Akeem Thurton – send ah fi life

  6. alley cat says:

    It’s call progress in the wrong direction.

  7. misha says:

    i just saw you when i was there for my nephew funeral in January, now i wont ever see u again sally, u always said u str8 cam? n i was like yea. u was a very respectable young man who had a future cuz u was doing good for your self. we grew up in the same neighborhood till i moved away. take care of my nephew for me till we meet again. RIP
    the police force need to do something about all these damn killing. they know who’s is doing the killing n refuse to charge them that why there is so many killer over the place of belize. soon any tourist wont want to travel there, b/c this place is getting violent. these guys have no mercy, they come in your house, now they are coming in your yard to kill u in front of your family. like r u kidding me. no one is safe anywhere. i don’t get how no one see a guy walking down west street wit a gun in his hand. the person who was holding the killer bike should b charged also. come on now.

  8. No blame me I vote PUP says:

    I guess Barrow paid truce is null and void after the elections.. this is the monster he created!!!

  9. Slim says:

    I will really miss you sally your now in a better place and i c u soon me love slp tight

  10. Ex Belizean says:

    If there were real law enforcement as opposed to a contingent of retards and cowards maybe, just maybe the city could get cleaned up. These gang members are the scum of Belizean society and need to be brought to justice.

  11. Nic says:

    I do not know wat my country coming too main So sad didn’t know him as someone that was involved in gangs. I guess now you don’t even have to be in gangs and have a criminal past to be killed. u was a very respectable young man who had a future cuz u was doing good for your self. we use to go to the same primary skool and high skool 2gether u was fun to be round always make ppl laugh even when u do not want too.
    You are in a better place now wil not say good bye wil say see u later until we meet again take care.
    R.I.P. Sally

  12. somiah says:

    So sad… Met this young man some time back, very mannerly. Know his mother, Christian woman from Zoe ministry. May God comfort her in this time as she walk through this very difficult time , and yes, that she would find that Peace of God, and in time forgiving the person that killed her son….

    God is more than able….My prayers go out to her…

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