In Front of 2 Young Daughters

And while there are bittersweet emotions over the score in football, in Cayo, the community is reeling from the aftershocks of a home invasion and murder. It happened in Santa Elena at a home behind the race-track where prominent PUP Activist Steven Valencia lived. Last night two men got into his home and killed him in front of his daughters. Daniel Ortiz went west today to try to find answer to this disturbing murder:..

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Last night at around 9 p.m., 40 year old Steven Valencia was at home with his 2 daughters, when 2 armed men came to his back door and broke it open.

Though there were dogs on the premises, they put up no resistance to the assailants last night or, for that matter, the police and press today.

Unhindered, the intruders then reportedly robbed him of a small amount money and shot him in the upper back, right foot, and right thigh.

They killed him right in front of his 2 daughters, ages 4 and 6. A neighbor heard a loud noise, and decided to investigate.

Patricio Molina - Neighbor
"The neighbor call me and said that he heard a big noise in Steve house. I told him that maybe he is breaking something in there. I told him that I was going out with the flash to see is something is going on. I came out and I flash to the house and I saw some persons running up and down the stairs. I spot the flash from here and I saw his two daughters was coming out through the front door and one of the robbers came from behind them to hold them but when I spot the light he went back inside and the two little girls run."

"I had one flashlight and they spot and I spot and then when they were running with the flash, one of them say that it was him with the flash - so maybe they were afraid to shoot each other."

This isn't the first time that Valencia's home has been targeted.

Patricio Molina - Neighbor
"This like the third that they robbed him in there. One time they broke his car and went with the battery. The other time they broke into his house in broad daylight and took everything from inside his house."

Alejandro Rodriguez - Friend
"This is not the first time because the first time they took all his jewelry from him."

But this time, it was different. The intruders came to kill, and police sources says they specifically addressed Valencia.

Collet Montejo - PUP Senator
"I've gotten varying reports Jules; different people have call me, the opinions are broad. People believe it was a hit, I trust not. I trust that it was a home invasion and that it went sour. I think that's for the authorities to decide. I've heard different opinions."

Alejandro Rodriguez - Friend
"Maybe the person that went in there think that he had a lot of money because maybe they heard that he is selling land, but the man is not making big money. People say that they ask him where is the money and that's why we believe they think that he had a lot of money."

Marion Ali, reporter
"Can you say at this time what was the motivation behind this?"

Supt. Ralph Moody - OC, San Ignacio Police
"I can't say that at this present moment. We are still conducting the investigation."

And so, while police aren't saying with certainty that it was a hit, they are following up on leads which suggest that.

But the real tragedy in this is that Valencia was a single parent, and his daughters not only lost their sole provider, they also witnessed his execution.

This neighbor says that if he didn't get involved, they could have been killed as well.

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you believe that your flashing the light over there saved those little girls lives?"

Patricio Molina - Neighbor
"It could be because then they see people are seeing them now and they were going in front of the lights."

Alejandro Rodriguez - Friend
"The older daughter went there and she told him 'daddy, in which room you will sleep,' - he was playing too and told her in this room. He said and who will sleep with you? And he said that the only one who can sleep with you is me. That means that they have a good relationship with their father."

Valencia was everything to his daughters, and he was also a valued community member.

Collet Montejo - PUP Senator
"Mr. Valencia was a very active member of the People's United Party. For us he is a true soldier. Steven, from my recollection after 2008 general elections and the People's United Party lost that election so terribly, Steven was one of the few soldiers that stood out. He was proud to be a PUP. He was always active in just about every village uplifting the work of the People's United Party in the Cayo Central constituency. He was very dear to us and this community and to the activities that occur here."

Alejandro Rodriguez - Friend
"He was involve in horse race. He owned a horse named "Blessed Kid." "Blessed Kid" was a goof horse, he was a winner. In 2007 we started the "Twin Town Jockey Club" He is the vice president and I am the president. To me he is active, he has that ability to speak to you and what he wants he is able to get it from you."

As the heavy presence of police personnel at the scene this morning indicated, it is a high priority investigation for Cayo Police.

They spent hours this morning processing scene, and searching the broader area for clues. But while they search, Valencia's 2 daughters must live with the loss, especially the very vivid and graphic nature in which it happened.

Patricio Molina - Neighbor
"I ask them what happen to their father and she told me that they were killing her father. I ask her who did it, big man or tall man? She say it's a tall man with a hat and the other one had something tied on his face, only his eyes you could see."

Supt. Ralph Moody - OC, San Ignacio Police
"At the time of arrival the children were over the neighbor's house. The information that we received is yes they were there and they are in a position not to communicate with us. We need to give them some more time, they are juveniles. We need to give them some more time so that they can re-cooperate. We don't want to cause further damage to them. We want to assist them but as well the investigation must continue."

Patricio Molina - Neighbor
"I have another neighbor around here, we look out for each other. Anytime we hear noise we phone each other. That is the same thing that we did last night they call me because I was inside. When I go out they watch my place and when they go out I watch their place."

The mother of the two girls lives in the United States and Valencia kept regular contact with her. Police say they have suspects whom they are seeking.

Channel 7