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May 28, 2021

Senior Police Officer Fatally Shot in San Pedro

Henry Jemmott

All of Belize was abuzz today at the news a well known top cop had been found dead in San Pedro. News Five’s Duane Moody was sent to the scene early today and Andrea Polanco attended the briefing at Headquarters in Belmopan as police take on the duty of investigating the death of one of their own.


Duane Moody [Stand Up]

“He was once the coastal executive officer of the Belize Police Department stationed here at the San Pedro Police Station on Ambergris Caye. But in the wee hours of today, Superintendent Henry Jemmott was fatally shot to the head while socialising in front of a beach resort south of the town.”


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Mister Jemmott and a female, one Jasmine, were socialising on a pier somewhere in San Pedro; this was after 12:30 a.m. thereabouts, which would be during curfew time when one single gunshot was heard. Upon investigating, police found the female on a pier and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing.  And inside the waters, right near the pier, police recovered the lifeless body of Mister Jemmoth, with one apparent gunshot wound behind the right ear.”


The news of Jemmott’s demise sent shockwaves across the island as well as within the police department. The Superintendent of Police was recently posted in Belize City and had asked for some time off to deal with personal issues.


Chester Williams

“Mister Jemmott had worked in various aspects of policing and was recently the officer commanding San Ignacio Police Formation. And in May of this year, he was transferred to Belize City to take over command of precinct two.  Mister Jemmott had some personal issues and he had requested time off from Mister Rosado to address those issues. I myself was not aware that he was out on San Pedro until I got the call last night that he had died.”


An intense investigation is being carried out by the department as today, CIB Commander for the Eastern Division, Superintendent Alejandro Cowo, was on the island today leading the investigation. The sister of the deceased flew out to San Pedro today, anxiously awaiting answers. Jemmoth’s service weapon was recovered from the scene.


Chester Williams

“Doctor Estradabran will be conducting an inspection as well as a post-mortem on the body today and that inspection/post-mortem should tell us a lot in terms of proximity and trajectory which will assist investigators in determining the distance from which the shot was fired as well as whether or not Mister Jemmott could have caused his own injury or it was caused by someone in his close proximity. I know that some people on social media are saying that we need to be more drastic because there is an attack on law enforcement personnel, but may I say that from our investigation so far, it seems rather personal and not an attack on law enforcement. Our investigation in respect to that matter will continue and we are going to see where the evidence is going to lead us.”


Andrea Polanco

“Have you been able to determine if they are friends, they’re associates, their business partners?”


Chester Williams

Chester Williams

“From what we know is that they are friends.”


Andrea Polanco

“Are investigators following his movements in those days leading up to his death last night?”


Chester Williams

“Well I think that one thing we have found out is that he had gone fishing. I think it was on Wednesday. He spoke to one of his squad brothers, Mister Rivero, and according to Mister Rivero, Jemmott was boasting about his fishing trip and the fishes that he caught. So it is evident that he might have gone out at sea fishing on Wednesday.”


Wally Nunez

San Pedro Mayor Wally Nunez told News Five that he knew Jemmott well.


Wally Nunez, Mayor, San Pedro

“It is very unfortunate; our island suffers from news like that because we depend on the tourists and it is very unfortunate to hear the news this morning. I personally knew Mister Jemmott when he was officer in charge here on the island; I was a councillor back then in 2012. He was a very good friend of mine and so this news really shocked me this morning. The San Pedro Town Council is offering the full support to the Police Department further the investigation. We don’t know exactly what transpired and we are hoping to get to the bottom of this.”


One person, a woman who is well-known on the island, is in police custody pending the outcome of the investigation.


Chester Williams

“She is being investigated in respect to the shooting death of Mister Jemmott.  I think that her attorneys are out on the island and should be meeting with her and we will see from there if we get any cooperation from her.  Someone is responsible for his death; we owe it to him to ensure that we investigate properly and bring that person or those persons to justice. I can emphatically state that I have not received any calls from anybody above me directing that we deal with the matter in one way or the other. As the commissioner, it is my duty to brief the Prime Minister and my minister. I briefed both of them this morning on the matter and both of them said that we must investigate this matter and the chips may fall where they may.”


Andrea Polanco

“Sir, have authorities considered accidental?”


Chester Williams

“That’s an avenue we are also looking at. We have to look at every possibility.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


The commissioner confirmed that the firearm used was Lemmott’s service weapon.

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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