Arnold Peralta, an international footballer from Honduras, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his hometown of La Ceiba on Friday. Peralta, 26, was out shopping with his wife when he was approached by two gunmen who without warning started shooting at him. Peralta was shot at from close range and, according to the DailyMail, was shot in the head at least 18 times.
Peralta was accompanied by his wife Vanessa Oliva during the shopping trip. Vanessa was not hurt in the incident and collapsed on her knees after seeing Arnold die in front of her eyes. The couple were out shopping for baby clothes for their three-month-old daughter Camilla, initial reports add. The incident happened at the Uniplaza Mall, a shopping center in the town of La Ceiba, the Mirror UK reports.
Even though Peralta was rushed to a nearby hospital, he had died instantly owing to serious head trauma. Selvin Fernandez, a spokesman from the La Ceiba public ministry, confirmed the cause of death to be “open cranial trauma.” He also confirmed that there were 18 entrance and exit wounds on the body of Arnold Peralta.
Arnold had recently come back to his hometown to spend time with his family following the conclusion of his team’s season. He was killed shortly before he was about to enter his car that was parked in the parking lot of the mall. According to local newspaper La Tribuna, Arnold Peralta was killed with deadly accuracy. The motive behind the killing remains a mystery. Police officers have in the meantime ruled out the possibility of robbery being a motive. A manhunt has also been launched in the area in a bid to nab the perpetrators. No arrests have been made so far.
According to Police Commissioner Leonel Sauceda, the attack was carried out by two gunmen who were travelling in a vehicle. They have not managed to ascertain if the vehicle was a car or a motorbike. The police have also arrested a security guard stationed at the mall in connection with the incident because he refused to handover the video footage of the attack. Officials have also managed to recover 11 9mm bullet casings from the scene of the crime.
Family members and co-players have reacted in shock following the brutal killing of Arnold Peralta. The player’s father, Carlos Peralta, confirmed the death at a news conference.
“This is terrible. They killed my exemplary son. I can’t say more because of the pain I feel.”
Osman Madrid, director of the Honduran national football federation, termed Arnold’s death tragic. “This is a tragic death that the national sport mourns.”
Peralta was taking a short break before he was to play a friendly match against Cuba next week. Earlier this year, he had joined Olimpa in the Honduran national football league. In the past, he has played for Rangers and club Deportivo Vida. Peralta also represented Honduras at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as well as the 2012 London Olympics. In the past, he had also captained the under-2- Honduran national team. The 29-year-old made his debut back in 2008 and had 26 international caps since he made his international debut in 2011.
The killing of Arnold Peralta is one among the thousands of deaths that happen in Honduras each year. According to several statistics, Honduras is considered to be among the world’s most dangerous countries with an extremely alarming crime rate. In fact, the homicide rates in Honduras is thought to be among the highest in the world. Incidentally, Arnold Peralta had tweeted about the alarming crime rates in the country nearly a year ago. He had back then criticized organized crime syndicates and even told that people who perpetrate such crimes should be killed. It remains unclear if Peralta was killed in response to his views.
(Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)