Honduran soccer player shot to death in mall parking lot

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:32pm EST
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TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran soccer player Arnold Peralta was shot to death in a mall parking lot on Thursday by unknown assailants as he entered a car, police said, ruling out robbery as a motive in the killing.

Peralta, a 26-year-old mid-fielder who played for Honduras's most popular club Olimpia and who was on the national team, was shot by several men outside a shopping center in the port city of La Ceiba 115 miles (185 km) north of Tegucigalpa, police said in a statement.

Security ministry spokesman Leonel Sauceda said the assailants did not take any of Peralta's personal belongings.

Sauceda said that additional investigators had been sent to La Ceiba to search for the attackers.

Peralta has previously played for the Scottish club Rangers.

The crime occurred in a region where drug cartels operate. Local gangs and drug traffickers are blamed for driving up Honduras's murder rate to one of the highest in the world.

Honduras' Arnold Peralta celebrates after defeating Spain in the men's Group D football match in the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park in Newcastle July 29, 2012.   REUTERS/Nigel Roddis