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#501452 - 02/24/15 06:18 AM 2 year old killed, mother wounded in shooting
Marty Offline

The San Pedro Sun can confirm that a two year old boy was killed and his mother injuried in a shooting. The names of the victims are 2-year old Charlie Espat and 33-year old Alieda Espat. It happened shortly around 2AM in the Sanpedrito Area of San Pedro Town. The mother is recieving treatment while the boy succumed to his head injuries at the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II.

San Pedro Sun

#501478 - 02/24/15 03:45 PM Re: 2 year old killed, mother wounded in shooting [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

San Pedrito shooting leaves toddler dead and mother injured

Initial investigation revealed that earlier at about 1:45AM, Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law-husband Rolando Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the lower flat of a two storey wooden structure in the San Pedrito Area when they heard several loud bangs after which she realized that she and her baby had been injured. They were both rushed to the clinic where the toddler was pronounced dead at 2:25AM. Sandoval was given primary medical care and later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospiatl in a stable condition.The body of Daniel Espat was also transported to the morgue in Belize City. Police have since detained a 16-year-old male of San Pedrito area pending investigations.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

#501492 - 02/25/15 05:56 AM Re: 2 year old killed, mother wounded in shooting [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Murder Of A Toddler

Last week Thursday, police found 2 men on northern Ambergris Caye with gunshots to their head. The week before that, a 13 year-old girl was shot in San Pedro Town, and 2 days later, 32 year-old Kareem Eaghan was shot.

Indeed, Belize's #1 tourist town has become ground zero for violence fuelled by the drug drops at the north of the island.

But now, it has gone too far: a 2 year-old boy was killed by gunshots in the San Pedrito Area this morning - he died in the embrace of his mother: An innocent life taken by bullets meant for adults. The background to the story reveals an even greater pattern of violence - Daniel Ortiz found out more on san Pedro today:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Bullets penetrated the Espat's family home early this morning, just before 2 a.m. Rolando Espat Sr., his wife, Aleyda Sandoval, and their 2 year-old baby, Daniel Espat, were all sleeping in their bed when an assailant, or assailants opened fire on their front door.

Bullet marks all around the room told exactly how it happened. One of those gunshots injured baby Daniel while he was snuggled next to his parents, normally believed to be the safest place for children.

His grief-striken dad, Rolando Espat Sr., is still shocked at the suddenness of the attack which took away another of his loved one, and the sense of security he had in his home.

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr. - Father of Deceased
"It happened at maybe between 1:30 - 2:00. I was asleep with my wife and my kid and I heard some gunshots. I heard some gunshots and I jump. My first reaction was try to cove my kid. But when I heard bam, bam, bam - it happened so fast. I heard maybe 8-10 shots. I told my wife to cover the baby. I jump over my baby and my wife to try to shield them, but I think the first bullet hit my kid, because he was no longer moving. I asked my wife if everything was okay when I heard the shots stop and he she told me that she thinks the baby got hit because he is not moving."

Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"We made our way to the polyclinic, where on arrival at the clinic, we saw the doctor attending to a minor, a baby toddler, whom we later learn to be Daniel Espat. What we observed is that this toddler was suffering from what appeared to be gunshot injuries to the head. Shortly afterwards the doctor pronounced the baby dead."

Espats' wife was so worried about her injured baby, that she didn't even know that she was hit herself.

Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"Ms. Aleyda Sandoval, 33 years old, Belizean housewife of San Pedrito area, San Pedro Town, she was observed suffering from what appeared to be gunshot injuries to the left part of her hand, by the elbow area and it is understood that the bullet is lodge in her back."

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr. - Father of Deceased
"I didn't even noticed that my wife was shot, she didn't notice until we reached the hospital. The doctor told me that it looks like your wife was also shot."

Rolando Espat Sr., still cannot understand how he escaped unscathed, given that he was lying inches away from his baby and his wife.

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr. - Father of Deceased
"I still cannot explain how I manage to not get hit by a bullet, because there were so many bullets. As you can see in my room, holes all over the walls and I was sleeping in front of my kid. I was in front of the bed, my kid in the middle and my wife was in the corner of the bed. So, I still cannot explain how I didn't get shot. I would prefer me to get shot and not my kid, because I already live my life."

Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"Initial investigations reveal that Mr. Rolando Espat, his wife and the baby were sleeping when somebody or some persons went to the residence and fired several shots. As a result, resulting in what we have now in the investigation. At the scene we observed that the door to the apartment had several bullets, about 8-9 bullet holes and at the crime scene, we found 5 slugs and 1 expended shell."

Espat must now burry his 4th son. He's now lost 6 relatives, which suggest clearly that the great misfortune that his family has experienced is by design. The Espat men appears to have a target on their backs.

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr. - Father of Deceased
"It is my 4th kid. 6 months ago I buried my oldest son, 22 years old Rolando Junior and today my two and a half years old son got killed. It very hard to deal with that. I don't wish that to anybody. I don't know how I am coping with that right now. I know that this was targeting me. This was not targeting my son or my wife. They were targeting me, because they knew where I was staying, they knew where my room was and those bullets that hit my son, they are supposed to hit me, but the Lord is the one who decides. He took away my son's life and I don't know what's going to happen to my wife, but he speared me for some reason."

Daniel Ortiz "Are you worried that person will try to come back and finish what they did?"

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr. - Father of Deceased
"Oh sure. I am worried. My wife is worried, my family, my mom, and my brothers - everybody is worried. They told me to go away from the island, sell your house, and sell your properties and go. I am thinking about it and only God will decide."

But, for a more immediate response, San Pedro Police are focused on the San Pedrito Area which has seen a spike in violent crime. The Commanding Officer is determined to get the area under control, but it is a tough neighborhood to police.

Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"We have been investigating. If you can recall we had previously the shooting where a gentleman by the name of Kareem Eaghan was involved and so we thought that it was retaliation from that. So far the motive is not clear, so we are investigating as to what is the motive and as a result of that what we did, we stepped up our law enforcement response by putting more patrols in the area. We do more stop and search in the area and in fact last night, we had a political meeting or what we called a mayoral debate and as soon as that meeting was over, I personally went into the area to patrol along with another constable and unfortunately this was between 10:30 - 11:00, so we have stepped up our law enforcement response and we are asking the community or the residents of the area that if they have any information, for them to feel free to call me or to come and talk to the detectives and whatever information they have, to give us the information."

As noted in the story, Rolando Espat Sr. has now lost 6 relatives; four of them, his sons. Espat's brother-in-law, Edwardo "Bro Lee" Guitierrez was found along with James Swan buried in shallow graves on the island on February 2009. Then Rolando's 17 year-old nephew, Daniel Alamilla, and and his 18 year-old son, Charlie Espat, were found buried in shallow graves in Orange Walk in June 2012. Then, his other son, Byron Estrada Espat, was killed in the Daddy Rock Night Club in January 2013. Most recently, Rolando Senior's eldest son, 22 year-old Rolando "Rolito" Espat Jr. was killed by a gunman in September 2014. He was only a short distance away from his house when he was gunned down. And, now, Baby Daniel Espat is his 4th son to be killed by violence.

Channel 7

Late night shooting in San Pedrito: toddler killed, mother in critical condition

According to Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation, Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos, Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law- husband Rolando “Roli” Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the ground level of a two storey wooden structure. Sometime around 1:45AM, they woke up to the sound of several loud bangs after which Sandoval realized she and her baby had been shot.

Rolando Espat, who has lost four children to gun violence, said that he is confused, heartbroken and at a loss for words. “I was asleep when I heard the gunshots. The first thing I did was to try and cover my kid because he was in the middle and my wife was in the corner of the bed. I tried covering both of them with my body. I threw myself over them but everything happened so fast. I heard several shots, perhaps 10. When the shots stopped I asked, is everybody ok, and she said the baby is not moving,” recalled Espat as he wiped his tears. He added that when he put on the light, he discovered his son on the bed in a pool of blood, and his wife was bleeding.

According to a neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, she was awaked by the shots, one of which landed inside her apartment. Following the shooting, she heard Espat and Sandoval yelling for help and that is when she came out. The neighbor said that she managed to assist the three and drove them to the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for treatment.

“When we arrived at the clinic, we saw the medical officer on duty, attending to the toddler who had gunshot wounds to the head. Shortly after the toddler was pronounced dead… We also observed the mother of the child, suffering from what appeared to be gunshot injuries to the left hand and the bullet apparently had penetrated into her back,” said Castellanos. Charlie Daniel Espat was observed with two gunshot wounds to the head, and he died while undergoing treatment.

Who would want to kill a two-year-old toddler? Both police and Rolando Espat are of the belief that the intended target was not the baby. “I heard rumors that they are after me. Six months ago, my older son was shot and killed and now my baby son. It is very hard for me to be dealing with this entire situation,” said Espat. He told the media that he has provided police with the necessary information as part of their investigation. “I don’t want to go in details as to who I suspect wants me dead, but the police has this information. I am leaving it into the hands of the police and God. I don’t want revenge but I want justice by the hands of the police,’ said Espat.

Castellanos said that following last week’s shooting, the San Pedro Police Department has stepped up its police patrol. He indicated that the patrol was boosted by the presence of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) who has maintained a visible presence on the island for the past two weeks. “We have emphasized to our officers that they must make San Pedrito Area, an area of concern in order to conduct regular patrols… In fact, let me say that I picked up a police officer who was off duty, and I personally went into the area sometime around 11:30PM, hours before the shooting, to do a patrol because I know it is an area of concern. This shooting happened in the wee hours of the morning, a time when our patrol would be less in the area, so to say we are not doing enough is unfair,” explained Castellanos. The officer said that while human and vehicular resources are limited, it is not an excuse for the police not maintaining a presence. He did say however, that while Police have beefed up their patrol “the criminals are always one step ahead of the police.”

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

#501499 - 02/25/15 06:24 AM Re: 2 year old killed, mother wounded in shooting [Re: Marty]
Mike Campbell Offline
Something very wrong when the CO has to personally go on patrol. San Pedro has never had its correct share of police and the ones that are stationed here seem to be all rejects with very bad past. Without good honest police this will never stop.

#501550 - 02/26/15 06:24 AM Re: 2 year old killed, mother wounded in shooting [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

2 Detained for San Pedro Murder

Daniel Espat

Two year old Daniel Espat was shot twice to the head at two o’clock on Tuesday morning as he slept in his small family apartment.  His mother, Aleyda Espat, who was lying beside him, remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with a punctured lung. They are casualties of a drug war being staged in the island of San Pedro. Tonight, the news is that police have detained two men from the island, who are believed to be the main suspects. Several other persons who are known to be adversaries of the Espat family are also under investigation. The head of the family is Rolando Espat Senior, who is an alleged beach comber. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.  

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr., Father of Deceased

“I’m not taking no revenge and I forgive any person who did it.  I don’t wish them wrong, I don’t wish them bad.  They did what they had to do and they will live with that in their conscience.”

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The death of a fourth son at the hands of a cold-blooded killer on Tuesday morning in San Pedrito has undoubtedly left Rolando Espat defeated.  Gun violence has all but wiped out an entire generation of his progeny.

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr.

“I’m leaving it into the police, into the police’s hands and into God’s hands.  I’m not taking no revenge, I will leave it up to the Lord and the police’s hands to do their work.”

Despite complying with investigators and offering the names of those whom he believes may be after him, Espat hasn’t given San Pedro police much to work with; that is a plausible reason why he has been marked for death.

Luis Castellanos

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr.

“I already gave some names to the police and the police are looking into the matter.  They are investigating, like I tell you, you know.”

Supt. Luis Castellanos, O.C., Coastal Zone Unit

“We have a minor detained yes, that is correct and presently we are questioning him at the moment, as we speak at the moment.”

The misfortune that has befallen the Espat family is the result of a series of incidents, some believed to be isolated.  What they seemingly have in common is the notion that the ongoing feud may be drug-related.  While that theory remains unconfirmed, it is a widely held belief by residents, as well as law enforcement.  Heightened criminal activity has also seen the presence of the Gang Suppression Unit on the island.

Supt. Luis Castellanos

“They were here from before.  We had stepped up our law enforcement response.  We had put more patrols in the area.  We had given directives to our relief personnel working the relief that any available moment that they had to patrol they must make San Pedrito an area of concern for them to patrol.  And so, with Mr. Mark Flowers coming here they were already here operating, doing some patrols, preventative patrols.  So this is just another addition to assist us, I would say.”

Notwithstanding a history of antagonism with other families, Espat firmly believes that the previous incident in which his neighbor’s apartment was targeted is directly linked to Tuesday’s deadly attack.

Voice of: Rolando Espat Sr.

“I think so.  They are the same persons that did that shooting, they are the same persons who did it last night because it’s similar.  They just stand on the street and shoot into the house.  So common sense tells you it’s the same person.”

That individual is yet to be identified. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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