January 6, 2023

LSU Nursing Student Killed in Belize While on Vacation

LSU Nursing Student Killed in Belize While on Vacation

Just two days before New Year’s Eve, J'Bria Michelle Bowens, 23, a Louisiana State University (LSU) nursing student was shot and killed outside a nightclub in San Pedro, Belize while visiting family. 

Bowens, originally from Indianapolis graduated with a chemistry degree from the Xavier University of Louisiana and was currently enrolled in a nursing program at the LSU Health Sciences Center according to her Facebook page.

According to reports, Bowens was attending her father’s birthday celebration at Jaguars nightclub in San Pedro’s Central Park. She was shot sitting on a golf cart outside the nightclub. She was taken to Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II and pronounced dead. 

"The tourist was not the intended target," Williams said. "It just happened that she was in the line of fire of these two factions."

Image: Twitter

In a statement to the media, Police Commissioner Chester Williams said that Bowens was caught in the crossfire of two members of a “drug gang”. At approximately 9:27 pm, a gunman with an assault-style rifle fired shots towards the entrance of the club where a leading member was coming out.  

The U.S. State Department lists Belize as a Level 2 travel advisory which indicates visitors should have “increased caution” due to high levels of violent crime. 

Commissioner Williams said that two suspects, brothers Delson and Tionne Paguada, were arrested for the murder of Bowens as well as possession of guns to carry out illegal activity. 

The family has not commented on the murder. 


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