No charges yet in the murder of Ortis Gladden

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Ortis Gladden

It was a violent night on Friday, May 7, with four fatalities reported by police in three different incidents. Two of those incidents took place in the Stann Creek District, including one which claimed the life of Ortis Gladden. Gladden, originally from Belize City, relocated to Santa Cruz about a year ago to escape the life of crime and violence, but his proactive approach failed him on Friday. Several men visited him at his home but instead of being met with greetings, he opened the door to a barrage of bullets. The body of the 28-year-old laborer would lie in his doorway until a family member later discovered it. Police were called to the scene at around 7:00 that night but were too late. Despite efforts to get him to the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Investigators say that while this murder may not be related to the eruption of violence in Belize City, it may be as a result of illicit activities which Gladden was involved with in the south. That is the lead which they are following, but his family believes otherwise. They say that according to Gladden’s common-law wife, who lived with him and her child, he was set up. He had gone to the shop and recently returned home when the gunmen, who waylaid him, opened fired on an unsuspecting Gladden.
Regardless, several persons have been detained by police pending their investigations.