Desmond Budna, a
from San Pedro
Town, was killed on
By Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 13, 2022
Desmond Budna, 27, a construction worker from San Pedro Town, who had reportedly traveled to Belize City to be part of a family member’s graduation activities, was fatally shot on Amandala Drive in the Lake Independence area in Belize City at around 8:45 a.m. on Friday, June 10, while he was reportedly on his way to visit a friend.
According to initial police reports, Budna was walking on Amandala Drive Extension en route to Lavender Street to visit a handicapped friend of his who is confined to a wheelchair, but while on his way to that friend’s home, he was approached from behind by an unknown gunman who fired as many as 10 bullets at him.
After being wounded by the gunshots, Budna collapsed on the street pavement and died at the scene.
His mother, Arlene Budna,, later told reporters that her son had just arrived in Belize City a day before the fatal shooting to travel with his sister to Belmopan for a birthday celebration.
“He just came in yesterday morning to go to his sister in Belmopan and stopped here in Belize because one of his younger sisters is graduating, so we had parents’ night last night, and he was to go with his other sister to Belmopan for her birthday. What he was doing there? I don’t know — to look for a friend… I just heard they shot my son. I just got a taxi and went there and when I saw my son laying down on his face,” she said.
“… The police told me that person that supposed to shoot him caught him off-guard. He was trying to run away from them because they shot him in the back and his slippers flew off his feet a few feet away from where his body was,” continued Budna.
There has been speculation that Desmond Budna’s death was possibly drug-related, but Arlene Budna has rejected those speculations as unfounded, and she insisted to reporters that her son was not in any way involved in the drug trade nor was he a part of any gang activities.
“When he was younger, between the ages of 15 or 16, he was already working construction with his father. He had a 4-year stretch where he got tired of it and he stopped and began hanging out with some boys who are living out at San Pedro. So I told him, ‘this is not a life, go back and work! I like to see you making your money and you’re enjoying it better’. He went back and started to work. I don’t know him with any gang. I always advise my kids those things are good,” said the grieving mother.
The Communications Director of the Belize Police Department, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, also dismissed the speculations about Budna and confirmed what Budna’s mother had said — that he had no known gang affiliation and did not have a criminal record.
“I know that investigators also have confirmed what the family is saying — that his name has never shown up on police radar for any kind of gang or criminal involvement, so that makes it a little bit difficult for us to investigate. We are trying to establish motive, and obviously, this would want to seem like a random act of murder,” said ASP Yearwood.
Desmond Bunda was Arlene Budna’s third child. He had no kids.
Police are investigating.