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Apr 30, 2010

Police contradict witnesses account of shooting of Stephen Buckley

vehicle 3This past Wednesday, Lorna Bainton Alarcon was hit in the legs by stray pellets when Ladyville police opened fire on a fleeing suspect. That same night a trio of Belize City men who were riding in a Dodge Ram pickup also came under fire from police officers when they were pulled over on Caesar Ridge Road.  During that shooting Steven Buckley was hit in the head by multiple pellets fired from a service weapon.  In both incidents police discharged a pump action shotgun.  Besides the use of a high-powered firearm, what is equally alarming is that the victims were innocent law abiding citizens.  The police shootings have outraged the public and the department is under heavy fire.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from a press conference called by the police in response to the public outrage.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Today at the Raccoon Street Police Station several high ranking officers held a press conference with the media to discuss the incidents.  The first to be addressed was the near fatal shooting of Steven Buckley. Eyewitnesses allege that two shotgun blasts tore through the vehicle while police personnel say they can only account for one spent shell.

Julio Valdez

julio valdez

julio valdez

“What we have on record is that one shot has been fired.  We have retrieved only one cartridge expended shell from the scene at this time and that’s what we have.  We are not saying no there’s not a possibility. At this time we are saying, at this time what we have is one shot you know.  We are not saying that it was not more than one shot we are only saying that at this time we have one shot.”

Use of deadly means of force was also a question that was put to the police.  According to Miguel Segura the department will consider using another type of firearm while engaging criminals.

Miguel Segura

“Personally, from my experience and research even in other countries I think Jamaica went that way of changing some of the weapons and it comes down to a shorter version of the MP5. But it is true when you have lessons learned and these are the things that we need to maybe look  into.”

Segura says despite the breach in procedure law enforcement officers should ensure safety when pulling over vehicles.

miguel segura

miguel segura

Miguel Segura

“Any vehicle that is suspected, it’s safety first.  Safety in terms of police needing to identify themselves, the vehicle is a marked police, the uniform because we have learned through lessons of even on the highway years ago in the serious crimes days where putting a civilian and a vehicle could drive through a checkpoint and there defenceless because it could be anybody.”

According to the department the shooting of Steven Buckley was an accident.  The department has also taken disciplinary action against Dennis Lopez, the officer who misfired the weapon pending the outcome of the investigation. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Police contradict witnesses account of shooting of Stephen Buckley”

  1. Manford says:

    As far as how many shots had been fired, that is easy to prove. Open and shut case. The police seem to be getting ready to go on a big defense mood. No need for that. How in God’s green earth our once peaceful little countrycome to this?

  2. Rizzo says:

    Another firearm???? I think if they would have used another weapon it would have killed that poor lady and driver. How about trying to restrain from pulling the trigger and when firing to get the attention of an assailant fire it at a location where no one will get hit i.e. the ground. Please not in the air; cause what goes up must come down. What should happen is the police department should develop a ROE (rules of engagement) card and issue it out to all of their officers. They should have monthly training to develop the right patterns and practice for when the situation do occur, it’s not Quick McGraw. The individuals did not show any aggression or restraint to have been fired upon. Accident? There is no such thing, especially when you are pointing that weapon directly on suspects who are doing what the officers are telling them to do. Again, reading these entire article just shows how uneducated they are. No one in here have a Criminal Justice Degree or even any! Safety first should be implemented on a daily basis and every office should have safety posters up to remind officers of what they are doing and to be safe when out in the public. It’s sad to see that the public are not just afraid of the criminals but also the police officers who are supposed to keep them safe. We are better off depending on the fire fighters and that’s saying a lot.

  3. Law abiding citizen says:

    Allegations of drunken police, shooting unarmed Belizeans, two shots, with the police claiming only one shot was fired. Who will investigate it if he dies? Mario Estradabran? Count on him to put yet another murderer back on the street. And what will be the response if/when it goes to court? Not one thing. This police shot an innocent man, allegedly twice, and they will do NOTHING about it. Sure, the police who shot Steven Buckley will be put on suspension pending the outcome of etc, etc, etc, and then, in the end, he will be reinstated, with back pay, because we have ZERO justice in Belize.

    Anyone can kill anyone, and if the DPP doesn’t screw the case up, som “human rights” attorney will put their mind towards getting the case dismissed, and, again, NOTHING will happen. Our legal system is a joke, and the Police are worthless. Look at our commissioner. He will make sure that nothing happens.

    Poor Belize. This is so tragic. The response will only be the icing on this tragic cake.

  4. griga's finest says:

    deh police deh need fuh get kill…..they shout an innocent man…..!!!!

  5. Maddyvandijk says:

    We are not saying no there’s not a possibility. At this time we are saying, at this time what we have is one shot you know. We are not saying that it was not more than one shot we are only saying that at this time we have one shot.”

    Every police officers were given a certain of amount of bullets for their guns, why don’t they check to see how many bullets are missing from the gun.
    Where is the report from the doctor, their report over the victim will tell how many times the victim got shot.
    Like I said, that police idiot should not just walk away from this one as a free man.

  6. Lany says:

    are you serious – Lesson learnt. Idiots thats what u guys are. See if your son was in that position and he was shoot and dead- lets see if u would be singing the same tune. The world is round… Karma is a *****.

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