Former Rangers star Arnold Peralta suffered 18 gunshot wounds in "vicious attack"

Peralta was killed when two men on a motorbike opened fire at a shopping mall in Honduras

football, motorbike, honduras, rangers, arnold, peralta, gunshot, wounds, shooting, international

Arnold Peralta. Image: Lynne Cameron / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Murdered former Rangers star Arnold Peralta suffered 18 gunshot wounds in what prosecutors have described as a "vicious attack".

The 26-year-old international was killed when two men on a motorbike opened fire at a shopping mall in his hometown of La Ceiba on the Honduras coast.

A post-mortem examination on Friday showed Peralta died from "multiple gunshot wounds to the skull, face and chest".

Investigators are analysing CCTV footage from the Uniplaza mall, where Peralta was ambushed as he parked his car, and have so far recovered 11 9mm bullet casings.

Another footballer who was with him was unharmed.

No arrests have been made and police said the motive for the attack was unknown.

Officials have ruled out robbery as a possible motive because Peralta still had his valuable possessions on him and no attempt was made to steal his Porsche SUV.

In June, suspected gang members killed his cousin, Bayron Josue Peralta, 28, at his home in La Ceiba.

The player's father, Carlos Peralta, said: "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."

Rangers will hold a minute's silence before their game against Morton at Ibrox on Saturday.

Peralta made 21 appearances for Rangers between 2013 and 2015 before returning home in January to play for Olimpia, Honduras' most successful team.

Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world, spurred by vicious gang warfare.