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May 4, 2011

Shooting death of Corporal Gavin Sanchez still unresolved

Gavin Sanchez

Corporal Gavin Sanchez was shot several times and died at the San Pedro Police Barracks on March eighteenth, 2010. More than a year later, it is still not known whether the officer that pulled the trigger, Sergeant Paulino Reyes, will be held responsible for Sanchez’ death. The controversy surrounding the killing was compounded last October when the D.P.P. announced that Reyes would not be charged, but the police sergeant is now the subject of a coroner’s inquest before Magistrate Roberto Ordonez. Since March twenty-fourth, as many as twenty-six persons have testified and Pathologist, Doctor Mario Estradabran as well as Investigating Officer, Superintendent Luis Castellanos are yet to take the stand before the inquest is summed up on May eighteenth. A jury of two women and two men will deliberate on a verdict at the end of the hearings. Police officers and BDF soldiers who have testified thus far, indicated that they witnessed Corporal Sanchez’ boisterous behavior which began at a night club before he was shot. Sanchez was detained by Sergeant Reyes, who was one of several officers that he allegedly threatened to kill that night. The chaos ended at the station where Sanchez was shot nine times during an altercation with Reyes. Of note is that Reyes is being provided with police escort to and from court since he filed a report, claiming that he has been threatened by other officers who are upset over Sanchez’ death.

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11 Responses for “Shooting death of Corporal Gavin Sanchez still unresolved”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    Eye for an Eye is what Mr Reyes needs.There was no need for him to shoot this Officer nine times.That’s excessive force.Let’s use some common sense here.

  2. islander says:

    Sanches kept knocking on the devils door and someone answered… This sanches dude was a rouge cop, he had to be put down like the rabid dog he was.

  3. Francisco Patt says:

    Islander you a racist person thats who you are. Sanchez was the type of no no-nonsense cop that is needed right now in Belize City to curb crime. I have heard over and over you running your juicy mouth bad mouthing Sanchez but for you will get yours. Sanchez worked in Belize City and on several occassions he got in shoot outs with Gang Members, he did not back down from them.

  4. Justice says:

    I can understand self defense but nine times! That is outright murder and I would hope that Reyes gets his 9 times as well. Even if Sanchez was behaving bad they had him in a cell so let him sober down No they had to plug him nine times! How could the DPP say he could not be charged? Wonder if someone plgged a family memeber of the DPP what would be the outcome.

  5. BelizeanBway says:

    I went to school with Sgt Reyes for 4 years and never once did I see/hear of him being in any conflict. He always carried himself well and was a good student.

    As to why he shot 9 times…maybe all of you who criticize him would do likewise if you were in his shoes. Maybe its time to put cameras in public offices including police stations. If they were cameras, maybe we all would see if it was justified or he acted wrongfully.

  6. Loren Delgado says:

    I wish that officer Reyes would have controlled his temper and not fire nine rounds into that poor guy, and now this guy is no longer here to take care of his wife and young children. Officer Reyes should be ashamed of himself. I hope that he have some kind of remorse which I don’t think he has. Belize is the only country that allow morons to go and do what they want to do and get away with it. I am surprised that he hasn’t run to his home country as yet so as not to face his crime he is a big time MURDER.

  7. Swamp Dragon says:

    This guy get killed over a girl! That the story in SP. The murderer get drunk and get jealous. He the killer! Put him away. This all get swept under the rug cause it in San Pedro and the Spanish guy kill the Kriol guy. That Sanchez out there a long time. He a good guy and this need to be handled with true justice. No need for this thing to carry out this long. He the man that carry his pistol inna ih pocket cause they no got holster. He out there a long time and do the job well. He stick his neck out for San Pedro and look how they do him. Shameful San Pedro!

  8. BZNinCALI says:

    Well said Justice. If being a belligerent drunk justifies taking his life while he is in Police custody then no one is safe. According to one article right after the shooting, Sanchez had gunshot residue under his chin around one bullet hole. That suggests an execution, it suggests that someone held a gun to his head & told him to STFU or ……. Contempt does not justify taking a life & if Reyes feels threatened by other officers, he did it to himself , why should anyone trust this trigger happy fool. Let’;s not forget that it was seen as a black on the BPD until Heredia, the area rep chose to attack his fellow Belizeans instead of expressing dismay & apologizing for what was clearly a shameful day for the Police & the GOB which he is a part of.. I still want to know what was said in the messages Sanchez left for his Superintendent Arnold(?) just before his execution.

  9. oscar selgado LLB says:

    The unfortunate incident involving the use of deadly force within the ranks of the BPD is an indictment that there is insufficient training of the members of the Force in the use of firearms. It was imperative on Sgt Reyes to strip Cpl Sanchez of his weapon prior to the shooting if he head actually threatened anyone with it. Secondly, The Officer in Command ought to have intervened at an earlier stage to arrest Cpl Sanchez and place him in preventative detention if indeed he made those threats. Thirdly, why were nine rounds fired on a single target? Being a graduate of the School of Infantry in Warminster, Wiltshire, England; we have always taught the use of a quick first round as a natural reaction to deadly fire and then one aimed shot in the center of the target. Shooting a man in his hand, then foot, then arm, the leg etc is not the modus operandi of a trained security personnel. The Police surely need to do some internal weapon handling skills training. As for the death itself; my friends, there is a process of evidence handling in our Courts. One cannot lead evidence which is hearsay, or inconclusive to the court. One cannot adduce evidence which is uncorroborated in this instance.My submission is that the blame must fall on the lap of the Commissioner of Police. The buck stops with him. The Govt must now accept the incident as a break down of command, control, and communications at that sub-station. It must as a matter of policy, now adequately compensate the family of Cpl Sanchez for the loss of life, and damages which therefrom resulted. It must be remembered that Sgt Reyes was acting in the line of his duties,and at all material times was an agent or employee of the Commissioner of Police, and the Govt of Belize. He can be said to react to the incident in a manner which he was trained to so do. Blame not Reyes, blame the system if you will.

  10. ANY says:

    well am a person that think you shall live evrey thing in Gods hands,but i think reyes shut sanchez 9 times because , thise was in his maind ,If i don’t kill him ,he will kill me. TO BAD

  11. bandit says:

    in the law it give you justification when you kill someone if it is done in extreme necessity(criminal code read it if you done believe justifiable force and harm) an i think that the reason why the DPP refuse to charge Reyes but when Dr Estradabran testify and shows that GSR was on Sanchez chin then that will no longer be extreme necessity so that will be the point when things change for Reyes an Sarge I am sorry about your situation but the line was cross which shouldn’t hve been cross and Sanchez is no longer with us nor with his family an you really didn’t have to kill him you wanted to kill him that why you stood over him and place you gun to his chin an put two more shot to Sanchez head the evidence of that is still in the cement floor in the Barrack coredor over in San Pedro

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