Virginia cardiologist shot while fly fishing in Belize called & # 39; collateral damage & # 39; by the police
A Virginia cardiologist who was killed during a shooting in Belize has been described by the police as & # 39; collateral damage & # 39 ;.
Gary Swank and his guide Mario Graniel, both 53, died during a fly-fishing trip in a lagoon near San Pedro.
The pair was believed to have been killed around 10 o'clock after a passing boat had opened fire on them & # 39; Belize Live News.
Police Commissioner Chester Williams told the site that Graniel was the target and described Swank as a & # 39; victim of circumstances & # 39 ;.
They revealed that Graniel trembled & # 39; with one of the & # 39; notorious gangsters of the island & # 39 ;.
The police are now interrogating Christian Espat, 23, from San Pedro Town, in connection with the shootings, after he turned in this afternoon, according to Breaking Belize news.
According to the site, Espat would have a & # 39; long record & # 39; including the murder of Cliff Kirk, an American expat.
Kirk died of his injuries the site wrote after Espat and three other men broke into his property during an armed robbery.
Virginia cardiologist Gary Swank (left) and his guide Mario Graniel (right), both 53, were shot on Sunday during a fly fishing trip near San Pedro, Belize
The Belize police station released this poster on Thursday to speak to Christian Espat in connection with the double murder
Graniel had been a target before, when his house was shot at on Friday, just over a day before his murder, the Richmond Times dispatch reports.
The police arrested the people they thought were responsible for the crime and repaired bullets at Graniel's door at home, but he did not report.
Williams told reporters that police patrols were in the area to & # 39; protect him and the community & # 39 ;.
& # 39; But we can't follow him wherever he goes, & # 39; wrote The Times-Dispatch. & # 39; He decided to go out with a tourist. & # 39;
& # 39; We don't have a boat to follow him. We cannot put the police on every tour boat. … I don't see what else we could have done. & # 39;
Williams has since appointed researchers to look at the deaths of Swank and Graniel, as well as three other fishermen whose bodies were discovered last week, according to the site.
The families deserve closure and deserve straight & # 39 ;, Williams said to them: & # 39; as a police unit we will ensure that we do our part & # 39 ;.
Swank had traveled to Belize with his wife and young children on Saturday, the day before he was killed.
Graniel (above), 53, a fly fishing guide in Belize, was supposed to be the target on Sunday after the police previously attended an alleged attack on his house
Graniel was a local fly fishing guide as shown above. The police say that he has eliminated the tourist scam, despite the advice that they could not protect him while on a boat
He worked as a medical director and professor of medicine at Virginia Tech, was recalling in a statement from the family.
& # 39; We are deeply saddened by the loss of our incredible husband and dedicated father Gary Swank, M.D., whom we will cherish forever & # 39 ;, reported the Times shipment.
& # 39; His senseless murder has left us to mourn a purposeful life that ended too quickly. & # 39;
Tributes online have been cast for Swank, with one Facebook user describing him as a & # 39; respected and beloved colleague & # 39;
Social media user, Debra Carter Kanode Such wrote: & # 39; Sad news. He was my husband's heart, doctor. A terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his Carilion family. & # 39;
Regina Poff reported: & # 39; He saved my life almost 5 years ago! He was a great doctor and an even better man! RIP Dr. Swank, you will be missed! & # 39;
Another, Linda Fox wrote: Prayers for comfort and peace for his family, colleagues, friends! So & # 39; n tragic loss to everyone and the medical community! & # 39;
Carilion Clinic & # 39; s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where he worked as a medical director, extended his & # 39; sincere thoughts and support to his beloved family & # 39; in a statement online.
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