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Dec 7, 2017

PSB & CIB Lead Edwin Hernandez Death Investigation

Edwin Hernandez

Edwin Antonio Baires Hernandez was shot by police on Sunday afternoon in Teakettle Village, during a pursuit of the alleged robber.  The twenty-year-old Salvadoran national was injured in the right leg when a service weapon assigned to one of the responding officers suddenly discharged.  According to police, the shooting incident was accidental.  Nonetheless, simultaneous criminal and internal investigations have since been launched into the matter.  Interestingly, Baires-Hernandez did not succumb to the single gunshot injury.  Instead, he died as a result of asphyxiation by bronchial aspiration due to stomach contents, as a consequence of gunshot wound to the right thigh.  That is to say, the suspect may have choked on food particles he may have been chewing at the time the officers pursued him.  Police provided a brief update.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“The Professional Standards Branch is dealing with the investigation, it’s an internal investigation.  The file is being compiled and as soon as it is ready, again it will be forwarded for directive as to what the investigation reveals there and if anybody is to be charged, they will be held accountable.”

 

Reporter

“Are you all able to speak about the post mortem results in which the post mortem was conducted on two days ago, Tuesday?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, the post mortem was conducted.  Again, as the cause of death was because of the injury that the man received on his leg, you know.”

 

Reporter

“Is the matter being looked at simply as a shooting, as a murder, as a… What is that case being looked at as?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“It’s an investigation, it’s a death investigation so at this moment we cannot tell you if it’s a homicide or something that the police classified as a death investigation.  So that is the angle that we are looking at, at this moment.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“However, on Monday sir, if I’m not mistaken, ACP Myvett had mentioned that there are two investigations that are ongoing, a criminal investigation, as well as an internal investigation.  Would you then confirm that if it is a criminal investigation, they would then be looking at this as a potential homicide, for instance?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well it depends on how an investigation will be going.  As I mentioned, at this moment the Professional Standards Branch and the Crimes Investigation Branch, both of them are dealing with the investigation and are looking to see what evidence we can gather, so that at the end of the day the file can be put together and sent for a directive.”

 

In a related matter, twenty-three-year-old Mervin Correa, twenty-two-year-old Guadalupe Guerra and fifty-five-year-old Plines Gutierrez were all charged with illegal gathering.  Gutierrez was additionally charged with illegal entry.  He was fined one thousand dollars for illegal assembly and one thousand dollars for illegal entry, while Correa and Guerra pled not guilty.

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