F.B.I., Police Investigate Shooting and Extortion in San Pedro
A family in the island of San Pedro came under attack over the weekend. Their home in the San Pablo area was shot multiple times and police have recovered numerous expended shells. The investigation, which involves the U.S. Federal Bureau, is ongoing at this time, but points to Lucinda Turley’s husband who resides in the U.S., but has been getting threats after a business deal went wrong. There is a demand on Turley to pay up more than a million Belize dollars. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The Turley family of the San Pablo area of San Pedro are tonight in fear of the lives after a gunman targeted their home in the wee hours of December ninth. Around one-thirty a.m., six bullets made their mark on the two-storey house, shattering several window panes; ten expended shells were recovered several feet from the fenced property that is located at a dead-end in the neighbourhood. It was a frightening experience says Lucinda Turley because they were all asleep when the gunman came shooting.
Lucinda Turley, Homeowner
“Yes, but we don’t want to give too many details because the F.B.I., the San Pedro Police Department and the U.S. Embassy are working on this; it’s an ongoing investigation so we have been instructed by legal counsel not to give too much details.”
“Do you know how many shots were fired?”
“Four shots are in this window and two others in the other room.”
“Any idea as to what may have motivated this?”
“No I cannot comment, I’m sorry.”
But according to police, Lucinda’s ex-husband, who lives in the U.S., has been receiving threats. An unnamed person has demanded that he turns over five hundred and fifty thousand U.S. dollars, which is approximately one point one million Belize dollars. It is believed that the house was shot at to send a clear message that the demand must be met.
Supt. Reymundo Reyes, O.C., San Pedro Police
“Last week Saturday or Sunday morning, police responded to an information that shots were fired. And upon inspecting the building where the lady Turley lives, it was observed that it had what appears to be four bullet holes in the window. We do not know who the suspect is, but our initial investigation is that apparently, her ex-husband had been receiving some threats via email in that apparently he was engaged in some business with a next individual and that went bad. So some sort of collecting of money is in the process and that is where we suspect or believe that that may be connected.”
Police are also investigating whether an arson at the Turley’s residence three months ago may be linked to the shooting. Trent Turley confirms that his motorcycle was completely damaged by fire on September ninth and also around one-thirty a.m. That coincidence also has the family concerned.
Trent Turley, Son
“It was late evening, after work; I came home and parked the vehicle outside. Not worrying about it; this is a really safe neighbourhood, nothing really goes on back here. But to my surprise the following morning, we woke up and realized that the motorcycle had been torched, engulfed in flames. So as to why or what happened, we are not sure, but the police are still looking into it. There was a golf cart adjacent to it that they tried setting fire to, but it never caught fire because it had rained that evening, so only the motorcycle was burned up.”
Reports are that the motive may be the result of an ongoing dispute, including a court case the Turleys recently won in November. While it is believed that the extortion is retaliatory, the family is looking to the authorities to regain a sense of security and the safety of their property.
“You definitely have that sense that you need to look over your shoulder and make sure that you are safe. So going and coming from work, I always made sure that I’m with the proper amount of people and that we travel in groups. And even with my family and that stuff, I always try to make sure that they are alright.”
“Kids were here, you guys were at home. Isn’t there a concern for your safety, for that of the members of the family?”
“Yes there is.”
“So what are you guys going to do?”
“We are discussing it as a family right now. We’ve been on the island; we’ve lived here for fifteen years. We consider ourselves more Belizean than American; we love the country of Belize.”