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Apr 30, 2019

Teenage Inmate is Killed as He Attempts to Escape from Prison

Kevin Moore

This morning an inmate at the Belize Central Prison was shot after scaling the perimeter fence of the prison in an attempt to escape. Nineteen-year-old Kevin Moore was on remand for aggravated assault and was housed in the Tango six area of the prison. The Punta Gorda resident was known to be suffering from a mental illness. This morning, during recreation time, Moore ran for freedom, but did not get far as prison officers shot him on the legs. He died about thirty minutes later on the way to the K.H.M.H.  Here is Duane Moody with the following story. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

This morning, a nineteen-year-old Punta Gorda resident and inmate at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville died after he was shot twice to both legs by prison officers responding to an escape in progress. While there is a review taking place at this time, it is known that somehow Kevin Moore was able to escape Tango Six Compound, scale the perimeter fence and was taking to the bush, when prison officers opened fire at the teen. The alarm was triggered just before nine a.m.


Virgilio Murillo

Virgilio Murillo, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation

“The alarm was sounded that there was an escape in progress and when we hear an escape in progress we move into recapturing mode. So we heard the shots being fired from the towers and we later learned that it was a prisoner running towards the bushes from behind the mental block building. Apparently, he scaled the outer perimeter security fence, he climbed over, pushed aside the barb wire that is atop the fence and jumped over the perimeter road nearby and began proceeding towards the high bushes. Thankfully we had a good distance of clearance and it allowed the prison guards who are in the towers to start firing towards him to deter him from continuing with the escape.”


Moore was shot above the knee on both legs and was recaptured about three hundred metres in a patch of bush outside the compound. The blood stains on the perimeter road are telltale signs that he haemorrhaged for some time before he was taken to the medical centre at Kolbe before he was rushed to the K.H.M.H. Unfortunately he perished in transit.


Virgilio Murillo

“Once he had been incapacitated, which is what we try to do when we capture an escapee—we try to incapacitate them by shooting towards the foot. Then we brought it back to the prison’s medic centre where an initial assessment was done on him and his wounds were attended to. They tried to stop the bleeding and those kinds of things and we transferred him immediately to K.H.M.H. for further assessment. But then I was told by my guards who took him in that on his arrival at the K.H.M.H., he was pronounced dead.”


Moore just recently became an inmate at the prison, back on April second, 2019, charged for aggravated assault. The teenager was to re-appear in court for trial on May fifteenth.  But as we found out today, he was one of fifty-one inmates placed in the block which is designated for persons suffering from mental health conditions or are handicapped. Moore was schizophrenic.


Virgilio Murillo

“We call it the special care building because you can go there for having a mental problem, for being psychiatric or any sort of mental disability as well as people who are handicapped. This is where you get the best treatment because there are prisoners assigned to look after handicapped prisoners. There are people who might be blind completely, deaf or cripple, cannot walk, in a wheel type thing.”


Duane Moody

“So Mister Moore was suffering from a mental illness?”


Virgilio Murillo

“He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and he was on treatment for that right up until today. That was prescribed by the psychiatrist.”


While it is not classified as murder, there is an internal and criminal investigation ongoing at the prison to determine whether the lethal force used on Moore was justified.


Virgilio Murillo

“We will definitely investigate with respect to how the escape happened. We will investigate thoroughly because we need to fine-tune that if there was any breach of protocol or any fall down by any officers. As it relates to the situation and his unfortunate demise, we called the police immediately after the escape and we summoned them to come in because what we need to understand is that escape is also a crime, regardless of who commits it. And the fact that he was shot makes it even more a crime scene and the police needs to be involved. And then worse now that he is demised, it is even more important that the police come in. During an escape, you hardly know immediately who is escaping. So in an escape we don’t know. All of this information I’ve shared with you is something we’ve learnt after the fact. So we had no idea from which direction that person had left. Yes, we know he climbed over a particular fence, but we learn all of that after the fact. During an escape the idea is really to try and recapture. And remember the purpose of prisons is really to protect society. Aside from treating the offender and trying to rehabilitate them, it is to protect society.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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