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Jul 15, 2021

14-year-old Minor Shot Dead by Police in Placencia

Laddie Gillett

The news spread like wildfire today: a teenager vacationing with his family in the popular tourism destination of Placencia shot dead by police. Tonight that officer finds himself on the other side of the law as a criminal and an internal investigation begins into the incident. Today the police high command acted swiftly to detain the officer the officer in question as they await a directive from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. News Five’s Duane Moody has the first part of the story tonight.



Duane Moody

“Fourteen-year-old Laddie Gillett and his family were vacationing at the Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia. On Wednesday night, just before the ten o’clock curfew hour, as he and another minor were heading back home when they were pursued by police officers, one of whom fired the deadly shot that caught Gillett in the back.”


The boys were down by the Placencia Beach Club when security there are reported to have called police. What was to be a fun-filled trip away from home turned tragic within minutes.


Duane Moody

Chester Williams 

“Police received a call from a security guard at a resort that there were some people looking suspicious in the area. Based on that, police responded to the location and upon arrival, they encountered two or three young men – they saw them running – and in the process of doing so, one of the officers fired a single shot and the shot caught one of the individual who was running. The person who was shot was later identified to be a fourteen-year-old and he is a resident of Chaa Creek Lodge in Cayo. He was taken to the Placencia Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”


ComPol Chester Williams says that the action of the officer was without a doubt unjustifiable because it goes against police protocol in all its forms.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams 

“From what I know so far, based on what we have recorded, the shooting would be unjustified. We have our use of force policy and one of our policy is that we are not to shoot at a fleeing suspect. He was not a suspect and yes he was running, but from what we are gathering, he was not running from the police. So he cannot be regarded as a fleeing suspect and so yes, the use of force would be unjustified. It goes against our policy…and while yes we do at time encourage warning shots, warning shots are to be fired in the air – not even on the ground because on the ground can ricochet. So there is no way, from what I know so far, that we can justify what happened.”


Statements have been recorded from the responding officers, the security guard at Placencia Beach Club and the minor who survived the ordeal. Reports are that even as Gillett was mortally wounded, the other minor was physically assaulted by police officers and the security guard.


Chester Williams 

“I also got that information from the mother when I spoke to her this morning and that is also a part of the investigation being done by the Professional Standards Branch because if the officers did that, then that is utterly wrong and will not be countenanced by us. The child, from what I was told by the mother, had just gone to a nearby place, him and his friend to drop off a female friend and they were on their way back and were running to beat curfew and not necessarily running from the police. And so it is really unfortunate. I cannot say that I can feel what the mother is feeling, but I can feel her pain and it would be rough for any parent. I don’t have a fourteen-year-old, but I have an eleven-year-old and I could just imagine if I were in her shoe how I would feel.”


ComPol Chester Williams describes the situation as a tough one because the family has been good supporter of the police department and the minor has no criminal history. He spoke with the mother this morning.


Chester Williams 

“She was obviously in a state of shock still and understandably so as she said to me that the child had his entire future ahead of him and that has been taken away. And so, as a department, I assured her that we are going to do what needs to be done. The department is not going to cover nothing. I briefed the minister about it this morning, we share the same view and so we just have to do what needs to be done in addressing the issue.”


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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