Photo: Reece Riverol, deceased
by Charles Gladden
CROOKED TREE, Belize District, Wed. Nov. 16, 2022
On Monday night, November 14, Reece Riverol, 30, also known as “Biggs” or “Bigga,” was getting ready for bed at his home near Mile 31 on the Philip Goldson Highway when he was killed by a gunman who lured him outside by pelting stones at his rooftop.
The Crooked Tree resident was reportedly at home that night with his girlfriend and their two children when he heard the sound of stones hitting the roof shortly after 9:00 p.m.
When Riverol exited the house to find out the source of the noise, he did not see anything out of the ordinary, so he went back inside the home. While he was having a conversation with his girlfriend, however, another round of stones hit the rooftop, and he once more went outside the home to see what was happening. It was when he turned around to head back into the house that he was shot in the back at close range by the gunman.
Royanne Riverol, the sister of the deceased, told AMANDALA that her brother had lived at his residence for about seven years and he was a known member of the community, due to his relatives in the Crooked Tree village. She also noted that he had previously lived on Supal Street in Belize City before he relocated to the village, and that it was police harassment that prompted him and his mother to relocate near the Crooked Tree junction in an attempt to secure a more peaceful life. It was her brother, she said, who had been responsible for taking care of their mother’s home and land in the village.
The violent death of Riverol, who is a father of two little boys—one only three-months old—has thus left the family in a state of shock and disbelief.
“To be honest, the whole family is in total shock right now. His girlfriend is still trying to come to terms with it. All of us are confused, [and] all of us don’t know what is happening. We wake up thinking it’s a dream and that it’s not real, and everything comes back to us and hit us right back again … Reece didn’t have any trouble with anyone. He was always the person to give a helping hand. Reece didn’t have any ends with anyone for them to come at him; he doesn’t have that,” she said.
So far, she said, the family has gotten no information about a possible motive for the crime, nor do they know of any possible suspects.
“To be honest, I don’t know what to say, what to believe, because we haven’t gotten all the information pertaining to the investigation … nobody has come up to us as yet and given us any information pertaining to the case other than [what] I’m hearing on the news about it, but nobody knows anything about it as yet,” she said.
Riverol described her brother as a gentle giant.
“He was our gentle giant. He was cool, calm, and collected. He is kind-hearted. Loving. Overprotective of his family and especially his kids. Reece is a quiet person that keeps to himself. He doesn’t trouble anyone if they trouble them. He is very hardworking. I’m going to miss his smile and his character [as] a whole. I’m going to miss my brother,” she said.
Riverol was the fifth of nine children.