Former Rangers midfielder Arnold Peralta has been killed in a drive-by shooting in a car park of a shopping mall in his native Honduras on Thursday. The 26-year-old, whose 18-month stay at Rangers ended in January of this year, was in the Honduras squad for the London Olympics in 2012. Peralta was assassinated in his home city of La Ceiba, police spokesman Commissioner Leonel Sauceda said. Peralta, who had been playing most recently for Olimpia in the capital Tegucigalpa, becomes just the latest victim of violence in Honduras – the country has one of the highest murder rates in the world, spurred by vicious gang warfare. Police were hunting for at least one gunman, said Sauceda, adding that the motive was unlikely to be a robbery because his belongings were not taken away.
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 Honduras’ national soccer federation, said, “This is a tragic death that the national sport mourns.”
Peralta’s name was trending on Twitter, where Rangers fans remembered him fondly as a committed player who endeared himself to the Ibrox crowd with his work rate. He made 29 appearances for the Ibrox club, scoring once.
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