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San Pedro Man Shot and Killed While Diving Conch

A resident of Ambergris Caye is dead after he was fatally shot while fishing with his brothers on Saturday morning. 25-year-old Jerry Espat, his brothers 27-year-old Luis Enrique Santoya, 23-year-old Ricardo Espat, and 26-year-old Kirian Espat, were diving for conch in the Cangrejo Caye area about a mile southeast of San Pedro Town when they were ambushed by two groups of men on two different vessels. The assailants fired several shots at the fishermen resulting in Santoya being wounded to his left lower knee while helping Ricardo Espat into their fishing boat before speeding off. One of the other vessels then set chase at the pair while the other approached Kirian and Jerry Espat, who were still in the water and fired several shots at them. The shots grazed Kirian Espat on his right cheek and on his abdomen but he managed to get assistance into the mainland. However, his brother Jerry Espat was left out at sea until his body was found on Sunday morning with two gunshot wounds to his back. His father, forty-six-year-old Anthony Espat told Love News that the incident could have left him without his four sons.

Anthony Espat, Father of Jerry Espat: “They wanted to do a murder. Those guys had shovels and picks and things in their boats ready to go bury. They went to kill my son fishing for conchs. My son was in his boxers with his diving mask and his diving fins. Those guys ambushed him with two boats not one boat two boats and how they could not have killed them so easily because they shot the one who was driving the boat – he is in Belize City now. Jerry was a calm fisherman. He was fishing nearly every day to give the restaurants of the community of San Pedro we have so many restaurants in San Pedro those guys sell everyday in different restaurants. They don’t have a bad record. We can search any one of my kids that was in this matter now they don’t have a record of guns, they don’t have a record of killing they have not gone to jail yet or stuff like that, what is the reason they have to do something like that ? My son still asked me why?  Why are you doing this to him ? Why are you killing me ? Why do you want to kill me ? His brother Kirian Espat saw how they killed his only brother like ten to fifteen feet away from him they shot up his little brother. They shot up Jerry Espat in front of him. In front of his brother they shot him and then Kirian was the next one but Kieran fought twenty minutes to not die.”

Espat leaves behind a one-year-old daughter. Our newsroom understands that four men have been detained by police in relation to his incident, their investigations continue.