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Jun 23, 2011

Inquest into slain cop’s death shows self defense

A coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of Corporal Gavin Sanchez concluded today and the final decision is just the opposite of what his family was hoping for. After deliberating for half an hour, the jury of three women and two men concluded that Sergeant Paulino Reyes acted in self defense when he shot Sanchez on March eighteenth, 2010. As many as eighteen witnesses testified during inquest, including Sanchez’ wife Tara Lee and police officers, who were on duty at the San Pedro Police Station on the night of the shooting. The last person to take stand was Dr. Mario Estradabran, who confirmed in his testimony that Sanchez was shot eight times and it was a bullet to the head that ended his life. The confrontation between the two cops started when Reyes detained Sanchez for unruly behavior at a bar on the island. According to testimonies from several other officers, Sanchez continued acting out at the station and threatened to kill Sergeant Reyes. He was never placed in a holding cell and got into another confrontation with Reyes, which turned fatally when the sergeant drew his gun. Throughout the inquest, Reyes was provided with police escort to and from court because he reported that his life had been threatened by fellow cops who were upset about Sanchez’ death.

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11 Responses for “Inquest into slain cop’s death shows self defense”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    Belize: Now a true Sodom and Gomorrah!

  2. islander says:

    This again? I feel bad for Seagent Reyes. It is bad enough to have to defend yourself against a ROUGE COP cause that is what Gavin Sanchez was.

    Fact is when people die no one is a jerk, family members always say how much of a saint they were but Gavin was a deuche that needed to be put down. I am glad it was an officer of the law who put him down instead of a citizen.

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why couldn’t the eighteen witnesses helped Reyes restrained Corporal Sanchez?Mario Estrada is talking bs.It’s in my opinion that the amount of forced used by Reyes on a fellow Police Offices was to execessive as a result i believe that Rayes’ action was premeditated.

  4. subKonshus says:

    Oh, ok, so its like this..The 1st shot was a warning shot to let Sanchez cool down. But since he was really out of control, he did not feel it. So the 2nd shot was to remind him that he had been warned with a 1st shot. The 3rd shot was to make sure the 2nd shot did not miss. The 4th shot was to make him understand that Reyes was really not playing any games. The 6th shot was hmmmm…probably to make the sure the gun was real because Sanchez seemed invincible. By the 7th shot, Reyes was now on the defense because the 6th shot got Sanchez real mad, so Reyes had to defend his life with the 8th shot which accidentally hit Sanchez in the head. Bear in mind that it was the 8th shot that was fired in self-defense, but unfortunately it landed in a bad spot. That’s how you kill a detained person with 8 shots and call it self-defense. Welcome to Belize, where the dead have no justice!

  5. John Eskisofrenico says:

    I think that if i was in the place of Sgt. Reyes I would do the same thing. I have never killed any one and I know that if I was to shoot somebody I was going to get damn nervous and empty the gun. I think authorities have made a big deal out of this because Sgt. Reyes is Salvadorean and because he killed a police officer (a drunk police officer). So that means that a drunk police’s life is more valuable than that of a good, and active citizen. There are many cases that have never been followed up and left unsolved only because the person might not have and important job or high level in society. Vidal is trying to do justice and he himself is a paid criminal, “he who comes to justice must come with clean hands.”
    What is the main cause of violence in Belize? Poverty!!! Cause of poverty? no education? cause of education? poverty again!! its a cycle which the GOB must work to solve. I think that if a good investment was made in education instead of buying those fancy vehicles that cost thousands of dollars the GOB should be offering more scholarships. If children get educated now, there will not be the need to punish men 10 years from now.
    Sorry for writing this much folks but the pint needs to go across one way or the other.

  6. Hill says:

    8 shots for self defense? This is a real joke!!!!!

  7. happy in north carolina says:

    Being an police officer you are trained to protect and serve the people of that country. In other words you do not kill people out of rage. You are trained to subdue your subject in case of any danger.

  8. happy in north carolina says:

    You do not shoot a person thats inparied. This person is defensless. When you arrest a person you should put a handcuff on that person. He then will not be a threat to no one. Next you take him to police station were you will book him. Finally you will put him in the holding cell.

  9. JahKid says:

    I know Sgt Reyes because the police work with other Gov Agencies. I met him on a murder case being dealth with. Reyes loved his job, he was not one of those who would divert his mission for some money for him to turn his face the other way. The whole case is a sad one. I know Reyes has not been a happy man since this incident, but he met himself in a situation of either me or him scenario. I would have protected myself in the same manner. In a situation like his, you fear for your life, your mind focus on the family you have, you do not want to run and get shot in the back and die. Brave men die and cowards survive, because the attackers shows his anger and the aggressed if him/her is a fast thinker definately holds his stand. Not because he is brave but because of fear to die and leave all that life offers. Including surrendering your life to God. Now RUM has killed people in their vehicles, in their sleep, amonst families and the list goes on. Yes, noone forces anyone to drink, but that is the norm in most Gov Dept, They call it GET TOGETHER. That is the norm in the whole world. Look at how many people abuse RUM, I’ve seen Area Reps drunk like dead fowls, pants wet with piss, yes, the same Man that plays his role when you want to see him in his office. I tell Reyes to hold up his head up high, not for death of his fellow Police but as a Person that survived an almost death. He has friends out here also. I did not know if him was of Salvadoran Descendant but he was indeed working as a Belizean who loved his country. May the Lord forgive you and may he protect and bless you!!! I’m so sorry my friends, life goes on, not as before, but it goes on. Respect!!!

  10. observer says:

    I went to school with SGT Reyes and always observed that he kept to himself and friends. Never got into fights like most kids in high school.

    I have seen Reyes doing his work and have always admired his professionalism. With this in mind, I can not invision him the image that some are trying hard to present him. We all have flaws but I’m certain that he must have ad a reason for acting the way he did against Cpl Sanchez.

    John, you picked up some very good points…we all understand or at least try to imagine how stressful it is to be a police officer especially since the department has gotten such a bad reputation…but indeed a lot of police officers consume alcohol…many politicians and lawmakers get drunk and behave worst than regular citizens…

    I always think that people that hold key positions should live by example. Else, they loose their jobs. If we were strict on this, then people would think twice in going out drinking and behaving senselessly in fear of loosing their jobs…loosing their way of life.

    RIP Cpl Sanchez….hope his family can find some kind of closure to lossing him….its really sad.

  11. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s in my opinion that Reyes is going to be eliminated by the criminal elements or one of his fellow officer.He did in once and got away he’s going to try it again.

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