A tragic incident occurred in San Pedro, Belize, where a three-year-old girl, her father, and another man were killed in a shooting. The incident took place on October 23 in the San Pedrito neighborhood. Authorities suspect a possible connection to the “sea lotto,” referring to cocaine parcels that wash ashore on Ambergris Caye.
The victims, identified as Amari Rodriguez, Delmar Rodriguez, and Carlos Chi, were driving in a golf cart along a dimly lit road when two individuals emerged from nearby mangroves and opened fire. Delmar Rodriguez and Carlos Chi died at the scene, while Amari Rodriguez was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Police are currently searching for two men, Christian Espat and Michael Brown, in relation to the shooting. Both individuals had been in police custody a week prior but were subsequently released. Michael Brown turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday. Christian Espat’s name has also been linked to other unsolved crimes, including a double murder in 2019.
Belize’s Police Commissioner, Chester Williams, stated that initial investigations suggest a dispute over a drug brick may have led to the shooting. He urged locals to surrender any drugs found to the police, emphasizing the dangers associated with keeping and disposing of such substances.
San Pedro, known for its tourism and foreign investment, has experienced a history of violence related to the “sea lotto” and gang activity. The island has seen frequent incidents of murders and feuds between rival gangs, particularly the Bloods and Crips.
The search for Christian Espat continues, while authorities work to uncover further details.