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Aug 27, 2018

Brigade Security Officer Recovering After Shooting at Courtenay Coye Law Firm

Lascelle Jeffords

A vehicle believed to have been used in a shooting on Friday evening has been impounded by the police. Just before six o’clock, a pair of robbers targeted the security guard on duty at the law firm of Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, Chris Coye and other partners at number fifteen, A Street in Kings Park. Surveillance footage captured the men as they exited a small vehicle and deliberately went after fifty-three year old Lascelle Jeffords to rob him of his firearm. Though their move was unsuccessful, Jeffords was shot to his arm and stomach and is recovering from surgery. News Five Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Preying on security guards for the theft of their service weapons is an offence that has become prevalent of late.  Oftentimes those handguns are stolen and used in the commission of crimes elsewhere in the country.  On Friday evening, sometime before six o’clock, Lascelle Jeffords, an employee of Brigade Security, was shot during a brazen attempt at relieving him of his handgun.  The incident happened just outside of the law offices of Courtenay Coye, where the fifty-three-year-old had been posted for duty.  According to Christopher Coye, business had been closed for the day when a pair of gunmen struck the premises.

 

Christopher Coye, Law Partner, Courtenay Coye LLP

Christopher Coye

“After our offices were closed, a little around maybe 5:30 or 5:40, two fellows jumped out of a Kia Sportage, a royal, jade green Kia Sportage, and attacked our security guard.  It appeared from the video evidence that we have that they were going directly for his firearm.  They didn’t get it, but in the struggle they shot our security guard, Mr. Jeffords, twice; one to his arm and one to his abdomen area.  He suffered damage to the bones rather than to the organs, thankfully; his arm splintered and his hip bone.”

 

The late-evening incident happened in an area of King’s Park where there are at least two embassies and a number of affluent families residing.  ASP Alejandro Cowo is in charge of the Crime Investigation Branch in Belize City.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

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

“Police visited the [Belize] Medical Associates where upon arrival they observed Mr. Lascelle Goldburn Jeffords, a fifty-three-year-old Belizean security guard for Brigade Security who was suffering from four gunshot injuries to the body.  What the police have gathered so far is that Mr. Jeffords was working at the Courtenay Coye law firm located on 15 A Street when he was approached by two male persons who had their faces covered and a struggle ensued between them.”

 

During that scuffle a number of gunshots were discharged, hitting Jeffords to various parts of the body.  Fortunately, he has undergone emergency medical treatment and is on the road to recovery.

 

Christopher Coye

“He had a surgery on Friday for the abdomen area and a second one on Sunday for the arm, so he is in recovery and he’s doing well.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I noticed that you guys have since increased the number of security personnel on the compound.  Considering the fact that for the most part this area has been considered a fairly safe area, do you guys feel perhaps a bit wary coming to work here in light of what has happened?”

 

Christopher Coye

“I guess in the initial aftermath there will be some level of concern, trepidation, but as you go along, you get into the normal way of carrying yourself.  That said, obviously something violent occurred outside of our place of business and we want to make every effort to ensure that something like that does not happen again.  We have made adjustments to how we handle security.”

 

The incident was captured on multiple security cameras in the immediate vicinity, the footage has been turned over to investigators and a vehicle has since been seized.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Police so far have impounded a vehicle that we think can assist us with the investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Any suspects?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“No, we don’t have any suspects so far.”

 

Despite the efforts of the police department to curb crime, Coye says the primary causes are still not being addressed.

Christopher Coye

“So far as crime is concerned, I don’t, it doesn’t seem to me, I should say, that there is much headway being made.  Whatever efforts the authorities are taking, it seems to be more superficial.  The root causes of crime are what we need to be looking at.  The education level, the absence of education, the absence of opportunity, the absence of jobs, it comes back to those things.  It’s not rocket science.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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