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Mar 13, 2013

San Ignacio family says police used excessive force in the killing of two robbers

Rony Garcia

Two San Ignacio residents were killed by the police on Tuesday afternoon. The duo, twenty-two year old Rony Garcia and eighteen year old Jose Garcia, had robbed a store and were pursued by the police when they were fatally shot. The robbery of three hundred plus dollars and various packs of cigarettes cost them their lives. Grappling with the deaths, their families are questioning the use of force by the cops. Duane Moody was in San Ignacio and has the following report.

 

Gina Tillett, Aunt of Rony Garcia

“I don’t understand how there can be a police shootout and you get two of them in the back of their heads. I don’t understand that. The kids were running; the two young men were running away.”

 

Gladys Garcia, Mother of Rony Garcia

“I don’t understand why they had to kill him? This is the question that I keep asking myself. Why? Why kill him? They could have shot him on the foot, anywhere else, apprehend him and make justice of him – don’t kill him; don’t take him life. He didn’t deserve that.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Why did the police kill her son? That is the echoing sentiment of the family of twenty-two year old Rony Garcia following his demise just after one on Tuesday afternoon in San Ignacio. Rony and eighteen year old Jose Garcia had just robbed the proprietor of Rose’s Store on the Benque Viejo Road at gunpoint; they were fleeing the scene when they were met by officers attached to the San Ignacio Police. Rony and Jose were pursued into a open lot at the rear of the store and in a crossfire with police, both men were shot dead. A sixteen-gauge sawed off shot gun and a cartridge was recovered from the scene. Rony’s Aunt, Gina Tillett says both men were shot in the back of their heads – to them it is a use of excessive force.

 

Gina Tillett

Gina Tillett

“I was told yesterday and I went to San Ignacio Hospital and the officer, Mister Puc I believe, asked me to identify the body. When I got in there I saw the two bodies and from what I saw, they both received bullets to the back of their heads which doesn’t explain. It is excessive force because if they were running away, I don’t know that anybody – my nephew is six three and they got the two of them in the back of their heads.”

 

Gladys Garcia

Jose Garcia

“He did wrong, I accept, he did wrong. I would have been the last one to bail him out because he did wrong. I would have accepted him to go to jail and make justice, but don’t shoot him and worse on his head. They didn’t have to kill him. My son was killed; coldblooded he was killed. He had no time for justice to be done on him.”

 

Rony’s mother, Gladys Garcia, was here in Belize City when she got the news just after three p.m. She immediately rushed back to San Ignacio to find her son already dead at the morgue of the San Ignacio Hospital.

 

Gladys Garcia

Gladys Garcia

“I was in Belize City at the Channel Five office. I had gone there to do a little business on this festival that we were gonna be having. And I received a phone call from my younger sister that I should come home, but she didn’t explain. She said just come home. I said what happened mama and she said no, your son. I told her what happened to my son and she said just come home. And I asked her if he is alright and she told me no.  Till afterwards, one of them called me and said you know what Rony is dead. That is the worse news I could have ever gotten. My son was everything to me. I can’t understand why this happened to him.”

 

Recovered from the scene were the stolen items: three hundred and forty-two dollars and eighty-five cents cash in different denominations inside a black knap sack, two packs of Benson Hedges cigarettes, one pack of Independence cigarette, five packs of Milport cigarettes, twelve Phillies, and two cell phones.  And while the family is not condoning Rony’s actions, they are still puzzled as to why he would need to steal.

 

Gladys Garcia

“He was not a criminal. I do accept that he was in bad company and I used to scold him for that every day; his manner of dressing. But my son lived two years by himself. And if those two years by himself, he didn’t do what he did yesterday, I don’t know what happened to him yesterday. That wasn’t him. I am not going to accept that my son was a criminal because he had never done this before.”

 

Gina Tillett

“I know my nephew was no saint and if he was doing what he was doing, they could have shot them in their legs and let them go to jail and pay for what they have done. But shooting them in the back of their heads; I want explanations. This just can’t be another case that goes away like that.”

 

According to Gladys, what hurts her even more is that Rony was to go to the cayes to work this coming Thursday, but instead a post mortem examination is scheduled for that day.

 

Gladys Garcia

“He was gonna check with his uncle to see if they were still going to leave on Thursday; he was going to go work at a new resort that had opened in San Pedro. He already was living there with me. That is why I am telling you, I can’t believe you did this? My son was a security guard. Do you think he would do something like that if he knows that he used to protect people from doing that; the businesses from being robbed?”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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37 Responses for “San Ignacio family says police used excessive force in the killing of two robbers”

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    He didn’t deserve it?????? Are these people serious, they threatened the lives of the ones they went to rob followed by the police lives by shooting at them and yet they didn’t deserve it? I think they deserve every bit of it because if they went to jail they would’ve prob end up walking free for insufficient evidence or some crap with the messed up system in Belize. Good job to the police they need to do that more often to show these thugs that ppl had enough with all the foolishness they be doing. It’s time to get back our sweet and safe Belize.

  2. Storm says:

    Sorry to say, but these boys rolled the dice and lost by playing a deadly game. When guns are used, deadly force is quite reasonable, and it was just their bad luck that the police were good shots or lucky. No police in a gunfight can be required to shoot to wound — they need to keep shooting until the threat is ended, not inconvenienced. A man shot in the foot can still kill with his shotgun.

    The police are to be commended in all respects.

    Next case.

  3. TRUCK DRIVER says:

    WELL, TEACH THEM TO NOT STEAL BEFOR THY GO OUT THERE. AND WATH WERE THE POLICE TO DO? LET THEM SHOOT THE POLICE FIRST? SORRY FOR THE FAMILY. BUT GOOD JOB POLICE, AND DON’T LET THIS STOP YOU FROM DOING YOUR JOB.

  4. itzme says:

    if you shoot at acolytes you give up your right to live, their mothers are complaining but yet they don’t see the magnitude of the decisions made by their sons, armed robbery and firing at cops

  5. itzme says:

    police*

  6. Belizean says:

    Oh yeah right!!! Stop complain! You cant take back what you planted into these guys, or, what you did ‘NOT” plant into them…these are fruits of what has been sown years ago..

  7. Belizean Pride says:

    OH COME ON, WE’RE TIRED OF HEARING THIS EXCUSES WHEN THEY THIEF WITH GUN THEY MEAN TO KILL ALSO IF THEY COULD, SO PLEASE DON’T BRING THAT CRAP WE’RE ALL HAPPY THAT TWO SCUM BAGS ARE OFF THE STREETS FROM SAN IGNACIO, I SAY KUDOS TO THE POLICE AND THE FAMILY PLEASE LEARN FROM THIS IF YOU HAVE MORE YOUNG ONES COMING UP TEACH SOME MORALS, SELF ESTEEM, RESPECT OTHERS AND MORE HOME VALUES AND THEY’LL BE PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS AND WON’T DIE LIKE THESE TWO SCUMS, SIMPLE AS THAT.

  8. Annie says:

    So miss Gina is the one on the firing line for the Bert Vasquez case crying for vigilante justice and now when the police wiped two criminals off the street she is upset? how two faced can ppl be?

  9. Alexjr says:

    from d time they committed robbery n armed wid a weapon, THEY ARE CRIMINALS. no matter wat, the police did der job well. 2 more off d streets.. start do dat da belize city.

  10. Alexjr says:

    from d time they committed robbery n armed wid a weapon, THEY ARE CRIMINALS. no matter wat, the police did der job well. 2 more off d streets.. start do dat da belize city. what if they had killed a police, wud d family had been complaining? nonsense

  11. Twinkle says:

    @ Annie, don’t be retarded…Bert Vasquez molested and killed several LITTLE girls….These two robbed. So tell me, why is Bert alive then, if he did worse….I agree that these boys did wrong, of course. No debate. But there are stupid ppl still alive and being well fed in prison (or even free), that have killed, raped etc. These guys only stole!!!!! It does not compare Annie. Ur comment was stupid. I am not taking up for these two, I do believe they needed to be punished, but hell man.

  12. Twinkle says:

    I agree with Alexjr…..start doing it in Belize City…that is where we most need it. Wipe all of them off the streets, one by one. Den we’ll hv a safer Belize at least.

  13. Menoh says:

    Annie, well said….It is sad they were shot yes, but it is a direct result of their own actions. It is sad that their families are feeling loss, but they were caught, there was the evidence, they were not saints, and now two more are off the streets. So, as extreme as it was, Belize is a tiny bit safer now. And how does Twinkle know Bert Vasquez killed several little girls? We need someone to blame for it all, yes, and he seems to be the perfect one. But, where is all the proof one needs before condemning one to guilt?

  14. don neto says:

    police? ha!

  15. Uncle says:

    @Twinkle you’re an idiot and a #@&8% They were my nephews and I believe that they got what they deserved!!! Fortunately they didn’t kill anyone then, but who are you to say that they are innocent you know something the rest of us doesn’t know, can you say with out a shadow of a doubt that they didn’t kill Mr. Sylvan Roberts Jr. or any of the other productive citizen of San Ignacio who were senselessly murdered by thugs. I regret that they did what they did and that they were killed, but I prefer that the robbers are dead and not some innocent civilian/productive citizen or the policemen that is trying to protect us… not to say that all business people are innocent or that all policemen are innocent…but sooner than later all crooks will pay the wages of their action. Good job policemen!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. belizean says:

    SO THEY WERE GOING TO ROB OR EVEN KILL SOMEONE AND RUN TO THE KEYS!!! HMMMM YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW

  17. snucums says:

    the police had no right to kill them young guys.. they cuda mi well shoot dem on the foot but not in the head, and der shud be justice for that.. yes those young men was going something terrible but that doesnt mean the police had to kill them.. wen they shud kill they dnt.. @$$holes…

  18. BT says:

    Gina Tillett was on News 5 demanding vigilante “justice” be meted out for one person, yet when her relatives are denied their due process she demands answers. It’s not about comparing the severity of one alleged crime with another, it’s about agitating for extrajudicial solutions when it appeals to your sense of outrage but turning around and pleading for civility when things hit too close to home. It’s hypocrisy.

  19. gone fishing says:

    shoot/point a gun at police and see what happens.

    these two adults were never taught that?

    more bored youth looking for trouble, for excitement, for bragging rights.

  20. Lydia says:

    Gladys you & the other family better face the reality of what your sons did, I am sorry they were killed but if he & his friend did not try to get easy money this would not have happened & if they had gotten away with this crime there would be more victims, so stop pretending it is the police fault too may crimes remain unsolved in Cayo & all over Belize. At least theese two will not hurt anyone ever again.

  21. ceo says:

    So what should the cops should have done? Call then to kneel for prayer or hold church with them?

  22. gisela says:

    jury is out on this one

  23. Simone says:

    Didnt the bible also say that you will be punished sevenfold for your sins? so they rob and if they died, thats about 7 times the punishment-and to shoot at cops? LOL-the hypocrisy of the wanna be model Gina-if you beg for justice in public and hold a noose, then you see how the world turns-it may not be 100% fair, but only the family is mad-the rest of Cayo rejoices. Good work cops – do it again.

  24. Ivy says:

    I bet if the same thing happened to either of you you would not be praising the cops. Tthey police are just ignorant frustrated people. They are tired of thr crimes in society. If we go behind Hattie Ville Prison majority of the people back there are petty criminals while the serious ones are still out walking the streets. The cops know who these people are but turn their faces when they see them doing wrong. Its hypocritical of someone totell another person the things some of you are saying because I guarantee you would do the same for your family, I KNOW I WOULD.

  25. Al says:

    This is one of the problems facing us today, family members know they have criminals in the house and the protect and cuddle them, possibly not even trying to talk to them to change their criminal ways. Is it ok forthem to rob this shop owner who is trying to make an honest living. If criminals choose to shoot at police they do so with full intent to kill if necessary to get away. Police have a right to protect their own lives.

    When you pick up a gun with the itent to use it, the risk you take is that you could become a victim of the gun. These two brothers made a decision, it proved to be the wrong decision and the paid the price. I am sorry that the family has to deal with this loss and pain, however, I don’t believe this was their first dance with roberry at the end of a gun, they just were not caught.

  26. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    @Al i agree with u one million percent. Two more thugs off d streets. For sure they will not b robbing anybody any more. The police need to start eradicating parasites like these off d streets of Belize. This will serve as an example to others. You go rob and u have chances of loosing ur life. The mom said her son didnt deserve to die but what about d chiney did he deserve to get robbed by these criminals? Answer that question mother of the deceased.

  27. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    On another note the mom said her son is not a criminal from d time he pointed a gun at a person with d intent to rob he became a criminal. Wherever u point a gun u have d intention to kill.

  28. History Minded says:

    I read the above comments, I am ashamed but not surprised.

    I’m with the family, whom I don’t personally know, that the police should followed their training skills and shoot other body parts and not to kill.

    It’s interesting a BDF does this – and we compensate the Guat family. – It happen’s to a Belizean and we…. …

  29. traveller says:

    I was just about planning to make a trip to Belize, when I came across this story. It scared me. Shooting, and looting. I also read other bad stories about crime. I cancelled my holiday trip to Belize for this. We Europeans dont like guns. Americans from the US are used to it. In the US there are a lot of killings too. But not in Europe. So we don’t come. We stay away, until you abolish the gun and gun control your beautiful country. Only police guns. But no private guns. Thanks

  30. Eye in the Sky says:

    GOOD JOB by the Police. 100%

  31. C.man says:

    Good job police keep it up please.

  32. macal rivera says:

    HOW COULD THIS PEOPLE GO ON NATIONAL TV AND CRYING FOWL WHEN ALL ALONG THEY KNEW THE BOYS WERE NO SAINTS, I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY CRYING OVER EXCESSIVE FORCE USE BY POLICE!!!! I REALLY WANT OT ASK THEM WHAT FORCE THIS SCUMS USED WHEN THEY HOLD UP THE PEOPLE IN THE SHOP???? YOU THING THESE WORMS WENT INTO THE SHOP AND BOW DOWN TO THE OWNERS AND TOLD THEM IN A NICE WAY ITS A HOLD UP?????
    COMMON GLADYS AND GINA, YOU SAID IT WITH YOUR OWN MOUTH THEY WERE NO SAINTS. THEY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVE, THIS IS GOD SWIFT JUSTICE.
    SUPPSE THESE TWO WORMS WERE NOT RELATED TO YOU AND THEY CAME INTO YOUR HOUSE HOLD YOU UP AND SHOT ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS??? WHAT WOULD YOUR ACTIONS BE???

    SHAME ON YOU FOR BEING (MATCHETE DE DOS FILOS)
    GINA YOU ARE A WOLF DRESS UP IN SHEEP CLOTHING.

  33. Twinkle says:

    @ Uncle…..ur the idiot…..can’t you read, or are u dumb? No part of my comment says that they are innocent. I said yes, i do believe they should be punished for what they did. But they didn’t deserve to be shot in the head. Maybe their feet or backs, crippled them, who cares. Not their heads..keep them alive to learn their lessons. It should hv been one of your sons to see what u would say then Mr. Proud and Right!!

  34. bmp says:

    it is hard to loose a Family Member . . . but when they are criminals i guess they deserve it, what people need to know is that this world is small and what you do will come bak to you double!!! have you ever heard this saying “el que mata a hierro a hierro muere”??. . . what if they were the ones to kill the shop owner??? the family of the criminals would ask for justice as well??? nah they were going to hide them and if it was possible help to send them far. . .

  35. Mandingo says:

    Two lives taken away! Sad story but if these guys were not taken away possibly more lives would have been lost. Sorry for the family, i wonder if mrs tillet would have reacted the same way if instead the two victims would have been the police? What would have been her story then? Come on, these bouys were not new to this business, the police just did what had to be done at that specific moment. Good job san ignacio police and keep up the good work.

  36. Mandingo says:

    Traveller – too bad we ruined your vacation, the then go to guatemala, salvador, mexico or hunduras where you will be safe! You don’t have to believe but BELIZE is one of the safest places you can visit. Take a chance.

  37. oldman says:

    It is horrifying the state of mind of the law enforcers, shoot people in the back is hunting not justice or job duties.

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