A family in San Ignacio is grieving on this Christmas Eve. That’s because last night an elderly man from San Ignacio, Cayo, lost his life in an attempt to protect his family against two assailants whose prime motive appeared to be robbery. 56 year old Fredy Lopez Sr. of Pond Avenue, San Ignacio was in the Kontiki area at around 9:30 pm walking with some relatives who were in the process of transporting tamales for sale. Upon reaching the vicinity of Arms of Love Primary School, they were approached from behind by two masked men. We travelled to the Kontiki Area where the incident took place. There we met up with Inspector Reymundo Reyes, Deputy officer Commanding the San Ignacio Police. He gave us the details.
“They were approached from behind by two male persons wearing rags over their faces. One of the male persons held the wife of Mr. Freddy Lopez and demanded for them to hand over what they had. As a result, at that same period of time, the gentleman bent over to pick up a piece of stone and that is when he was shot on the right side of his chest and the bullet exited on his lower back”.
Reporter: “Did he die on the spot, or was he rushed to the hospital and then passed away?”
Insp. Reymundo Reyes: “When the Police responded to the area, because they were right in the vicinity, the gentleman was still gasping for air, so he was immediately rushed to hospital and one hour after while receiving treatment, he passed away”.
We also spoke with Fredy Lopez Jr. who explained to us while choking back his tears, the shock he and his family are going through at the sudden, violent loss of his father.
“The other one came and he just shot him. My two daughters were along and my girlfriend got the baby and just threw her on the ground and the men escaped. They told the men “We don’t have any money, we only have the tamales, just take it and leave us alone. But they shot him to his chest. After they shot him, they just ran into the bushes. It happened so fast. He doesn’t interfere with anyone. All the neighbours can tell, he doesn’t interfere with anyone”.
Reporter: “Do they have an idea of who the men might be? Someone from around the area, maybe by the way they talked?”
Mr. Freddy Lopez: “They didn’t say anything at all, they just grabbed my mom. Definitely if you grab a lady and the husband is around, he will try to defend her and all he did was pick up a stone and when he picked up the stone and stone the other one, the other came with the gun and shot him. When they saw him fall, they ran. This is not a Christmas for us anymore and tomorrow is his birthday. Those youth out there, why do they have to be doing this simpleness. He was a good father, good grandfather as well, good husband. He taught me the best. Thanks to him, I have a good job, an education”.
It is a sad Christmas for the Lopez family. As we had told you, Freddy Lopez was accompanied by a group of relatives. Among them were his wife, his daughter-in-law and his two granddaughters- 6 and 10 years of age, all of whom witnessed the gruesome murder. According to Inspector Reyes, expended shells of a .45 mm. caliber pistol were retrieved from the scene of the crime. Reyes explains to us that this is the same type of ammo that was retrieved from another crime scene that occurred only yesterday. He believes the two men in question have been busy this past month.
Insp. Reymundo Reyes: “For this month, we have had over nine robberies, which the description given by the victims are that of the same two persons committing these crimes. In four different occasions, including a robbery yesterday, one of the buses in the Succotz area; the persons discharged his weapon and when you visited the scene, what is found was that of an expended shell of a .45 caliber”.
Reporter: “Is it the same type caliber bullet that killed the gentleman?”
Insp. Reymundo Reyes: “Yes, the same type”.
Anybody knowing the whereabouts of Kevin Manzanero and Alex Reid are asked to contact the nearest police station or call 911. Both men are armed and considered extremely dangerous and are known to be operating in the Shawville Area, Kontiki Area, and Collin Blvd. Area of San Ignacio Town and also in Bullet Tree Village. Freddy Lopez Sr. would have completed 57 years of life.