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Double Murder on Ambergris Caye #536941
06/24/19 05:23 AM
06/24/19 05:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,356
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Police in San Pedro Town are investigating a double murder which occurred this morning. According to reports, police were called out to a lagoon, a mile west of San Pedro Town. There they saw “Johnnie G”, a black skiff and the bodies of 53 year old Mario Graniel and 53 year old Gary Swank. Graniel, a tour guide was seen behind the steering wheel of the skiff with 2 gunshot wounds to the right lower foot, 1 to the right upper chest and 1 to the right side of the face. Swank, a USA citizen was seen floating face down in the lagoon about 30 feet away from the skiff. He was shot in the chest, cheek, left arm and lower back. Reports are that both men went fishing when another skiff passed by and opened fire at them.

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536943
06/24/19 05:58 AM
06/24/19 05:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,356
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
A San Pedro Tour Guide & An American Found Dead
[Linked Image]
Police suspect that popular San Pedro tour guide Mario Graniel, 53, was the target of gunmen in a skiff who killed him and a tourist he was with as they were fly-fishing just before midday today.

Around 11:30 Sunday morning San Pedro Police went into a lagoon west of San Pedro Town where they found Graniel’s skiff, the Johnnie G. Inside the vessel was the lifeless body of Graniel, with multiple bullet wounds to the body and head.

About 30 feet from the skiff, floating facedown in the lagoon, was the body of American national Gary Paul Swank, 53, also with multiple gunshot injuries.

Sources tell the Reporter that around 10:00am Graniel and Swank left the island to go fly-fishing in the lagoon. Sometime between that time and 11:30 a dark coloured skiff passed by Graniel’s vessel and fired on the men inside.

Police believe that Graniel was the target because on Saturday they were called to his home in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro after an unknown gunman fired shots outside the apartment complex, one of which penetrated his front door.

The bodies have been transported to the Belize City morgue where they await post-mortem examinations.

The Reporter

==========================

Tour guide Mario Graniel and Dr. Gary Swank shot and killed at sea

[Linked Image]

Mario Graniel (left) was a well-known private fishing guide, and many island residents acquainted with him say he greatly contributed to the fly-fishing industry on the island. Meanwhile, Dr. Swank (right) was an international cardiologist from the city of Roanoke, Virginia, United States of America. The doctor, who worked at Carilion Clinic, was also a medical director at said clinic’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab and an associate professor of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Swank was reportedly on holidays in Belize with his wife and three children. Carilion Clinic issued an official statement on Monday, June 24th lamenting the tragedy. “We are heartbroken at his loss,” the statement read. “Dr. Swank was a well-respected and well-loved colleague who, each and every day, embodied the values that we hold dear.”

As an island community reels from shock and mourns the loss of two lives, local government authorities have remained silent in the wake of this violent incident. The San Pedro Sun reached out to Mayor Daniel Guerrero for a comment on the escalating violence on the island, but he declined to speak to the media. The Sun also reached out to Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Reymundo Reyes, to no avail. Beyond the initial police report, there have also been no further updates from the National Police Department.

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

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536945
06/24/19 06:03 AM
06/24/19 06:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,124
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
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Diane Campbell  Offline
My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Totally. I make a plea here for reader-restraint in ranting while the families grieve.

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Diane Campbell] #536956
06/24/19 02:02 PM
06/24/19 02:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 56
Chicago
R
Ridgebackmix Offline
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Ridgebackmix  Offline
R

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536962
06/25/19 06:33 AM
06/25/19 06:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,356
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Island Tour Guide Murdered On The Job; His Guest Was Silenced

And, our next story is about a Sunday afternoon double murder that has shaken up San Pedro and could have very serious implications for the tourism sector.

A tourist who had gone fly fishing was murdered when the local guide he went out with was targeted for an execution at sea.

It happened on Sunday morning in the San Pedro Town lagoon when 53 year old tour guide Mario Graniel was returning from a tour with fellow 53 year old Dr. Gary Swank. Swank was a visitor, staying at a home on the north end of Ambergris Caye where his wife and children were waiting for him to return from his morning fishing tour.

But, he never returned, instead, police had to fish his body out of the lagoon where he lay dead - while Graniel was slumped behind the steering wheel of the skiff - both had multiple gunshot wounds.

Best information says Graniel was the target- but Swank, as a witness, was collateral damage. Police discussed the possible motives for the murder this morning:

Supt. Hilberto Romero
"On Sunday 23rd June, 2019 around 11:30am, police responded to a report at an area 1 mile west of San Pedro Town in the lagoon where upon arrival police found the lifeless bodies of 2 male persons identified as Mario Graniel and Gary Swank. They had multiple gunshots injuries. One of the deceased was on board the vessel while the other was in the water. Both were taken out and taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where they were pronounced dead on arrival."

Reporter
"Do you have details as to how the crime took place?"

Supt. Hilberto Romero
"We are working on several leads. We know that they were fishing in that particular area and thereafter the report came in that there had been a shooting. Police responded and that is what they found."

Chester Williams
"What we are gathering after the fact is that the decease, Mr. Graniel had a misunderstanding with one of the notorious gang figure in San Pedro. His home was shot at his Friday last. Police detained the persons who we suspected did the shooting, waited for Mr. Graniel to give the report. He never showed up to give the report. We maintain police presence in the area to protect him and the community from further shootings but we can't follow the man everywhere he goes. He decided to go out with a tourist. We don't have a boat to follow him and we can't put police on every tour guide boat. That was the end of it yesterday. We did what we could have done in terms of detaining those who we believe were responsible and maintaining presence in the area where he lived."

Swank was a cardiac interventionist from Virginia.

It is of note that on the day before the murder, Graniel reported to police that someone shot at his apartment - and a bullet penetrated the door. There expended shells were found in the area.

Channel 7


Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536963
06/25/19 06:35 AM
06/25/19 06:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,356
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Police Say Graniel Had Beef with Notorious Gang Figure

Investigators are working on establishing a motive. This was not the first time that Graniel came under gunfire. A day before the double murder, shots were fired at Graniel’s apartment in the Boca del Rio area. Graniel was inside his room on the second floor when he heard three gunshots. When he made checks, he noticed a bullet hole above his door. According to sources, this incident was captured by a security camera which showed a lone gunman, wearing a black hoodie to conceal his identity. At the scene, police found three nine millimeter shells. No one was found in the immediate area. According to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Graniel did not report this matter to the police.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“The double murder in San Pedro, what we are gathering after the fact is that the decease, Mr. Graniel had a misunderstanding with one of the notorious gang figure in San Pedro. His home was shot at his Friday last. Police detained the persons who we suspected did the shooting, waited for Mr. Graniel to give the report. He never showed up to give the report. We maintain police presence in the area to protect him and the community from further shootings but we can’t follow the man everywhere he goes. He decided to go out with a tourist. We don’t have a boat to follow him and we can’t put police on every tour guide boat. That was the end of it yesterday. We did what we could have done in terms of detaining those who we believe were responsible and maintaining presence in the area where he lived. I don’t see what else we could have done.”

Isani Cayetano

“Is it safe to say then that Mr. Swank is a victim of circumstance in this case?”

Chester Williams

“That is surely the case.”

The Graniel family declined to comment. Graniel was an active tour guide and one of the first persons to pioneer fly fishing. A statement from the Belize Game Fish Conservation Network says in part that “Mr. Graniel was a huge help to us in our early days. No one deserves to go out that way especially someone so kind hearted.”  Doctor Swank was an interventional cardiologist and worked at the Carilion Clinic in Virginia. A statement from Carilion reads, “Dr. Swank was a well-respected and well-loved colleague who, each and every day, embodied the values that we hold dear.” Police say that Swank entered the country on Saturday; he was on vacation in Belize with his wife and three children.

Channel 5


Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536964
06/25/19 06:46 AM
06/25/19 06:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,124
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
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Diane Campbell  Offline
I want to reach out to the family of Dr. Swank - his wife, his children, his extended family and friends .......... please know that this community loves people and life, and cherishes its relationship with the wonderful visitors who come to share time and space with us. Somehow in a future time when you are able to reflect without it being a nightmare, please know that our hearts are with you - that if we could do anything at all to ease your pain, we would do so. Our hearts reach out to you in love and sorrow.

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536969
06/25/19 08:48 AM
06/25/19 08:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 56
Chicago
R
Ridgebackmix Offline
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Ridgebackmix  Offline
R
If a gang was involved the government needs to come down hard and eliminate that infestation from Ambergris Caye. Just sickening.

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536970
06/25/19 09:29 AM
06/25/19 09:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,415
Mine Hill NJ
dabunk Offline
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dabunk  Offline
Sadly not just Ambergris. Gang murders are now happening in sleepy little Punta Gorda town all the way south. Police doing nothing to stem the tide

Re: Double Murder on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #536971
06/25/19 09:59 AM
06/25/19 09:59 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 476
Indianapolis, IN, USA
C
ChrisW Offline
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ChrisW  Offline
C
The story is getting national news coverage online now in the US. I'm not sure if it will get air time as well, but no doubt that this one is going to hit the country right in the wallet.

Last edited by ChrisW; 06/25/19 10:00 AM.
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