Honduran international footballer Arnold Peralta has been shot dead while on holiday in his hometown. He was killed in the car park of a shopping centre in La Ceiba, on the country’s Caribbean coast. The motive for the attack is unclear.
The 26-year-old midfielder for Olimpia, in the capital Tegucigalpa, played for Scottish giants Rangers until January. Honduras is plagued by gang violence and has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Peralta had complained about violence in his homeland in a tweet late last year.
He wrote: “How difficult it is for our country with so many criminals killing every so often, as though killing was in fashion! These types of people don’t deserve to be alive.”
His Honduras team-mate Boniek Garcia tweeted (in Spanish): “Rest in peace brother, God receive you in Heaven, you will stay in our hearts. Support and strength to the family.”
There will be a minute’s silence held before Rangers’ game against Morton on Saturday, Peralta’s former club said in a statement on its website.
“The players will also wear black armbands in his honour”, it added. Officials from the public ministry told the local El Heraldo newspaper that Peralta had been hit by 18 bullets.