General — 24 November 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
2 remanded for murder of boy, 16

BELMOPAN, Mon. Nov. 23, 2015–Two men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January, 25, 2016, on the charge of murder for the shooting death of a boy, 16, who was blasted with a shotgun in front of his family, although the boy begged for his life.

Damien Donovan Velasquez Bowden, 20, of Young Bank area, Camalote, Cayo District, and Justin Giovanni Banner, 18, also of Camalote, were both taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning, where they were jointly arraigned for murder.

Police accused both men of being the two killers who went into the home of Eluterio Choc in Young Bank, Camalote, and shot his son, Ivan Choc, 16. One of the two gunmen held the parents captive at gunpoint, while his accomplice shot Ivan in the leg with a shotgun, while he pleaded for his life, then shot him in the head, killing him almost instantly in front of the family. The killers then escaped.

The men were arrested in Roaring Creek.

Eluterio Choc told the media that on that fateful Friday evening, November 13, Ivan was at home with his family – his mother; his 2-year-old brother; and his 3-year-old sister. They were all eating fried chicken on the verandah of their home at about 8:00 that evening when they heard noises, coming from the, backyard.

Eluterio got a machete and went to see what was happening, but he was confronted, by two, armed, masked men, one of whom had a 9mm pistol in his hand while the other was armed with a 16-gauge shotgun.

The gunmen came onto the verandah and as soon as Ivan saw the masked men, he began to beg them not to kill him, but one of the gunmen still shot him, in the leg. Ivan then tried to escape by hiding under the table, still begging the gunmen not to kill him.

His cries were ignored, however, and he was shot in the right side of the head.

Eluterio said that after Ivan had been shot, the man with the pistol asked his accomplice if they were to kill the rest of the family, to which the man with the shotgun said no, they were only there to kill Ivan, and the killers then left the house.

At the time of Ivan’s death, he was recovering from gunshot wounds to the pelvis. Police said that on the evening of October 25, an unknown gunman fired at Ivan while he was riding his bicycle on Young Bank Road near the Westar Gas Station, on George Price Highway.

Ivan was hospitalized at the Western Regional Hospital for about a week, and was discharged on November 1, to recover at home.

Superintendent Howell Gillett, Commander of Belmopan police, believed that the shooting was in retaliation for a shooting that occurred sometime last month in Roaring Creek.

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