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Sep 22, 2021

B.D.F. Soldier Fatally Stabs Coast Guard Seaman

Elston Morter

A stabbing incident on Independence Day, in the New Site area of Hattieville, off the George Price Highway at mile seventeen, has left a Belize City resident dead and another in critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  Coast Guard seaman Elston Morter and security officer Marcel Gill were involved in an altercation at the residence of a Belize Defense Force soldier when a knife was produced and used to stab both Morter and Gill. The men were rushed to the hospital, but Morter succumbed to his injuries. B.D.F. soldier Leon Perez is in police custody pending further investigation. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The stabbing incident that cost the life of off-duty coast guard seaman Elston Morter stemmed from an accident that involved off-duty B.D.F. soldier Leon Perez and security guard Marcel Gill.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“According to investigators, there was a minor accident earlier that involved Morter and a young man Perez. Apparently, it was settled where I cannot say who acknowledged fault, but investigators just gave me a quick brief and I got to understand that these men went to Perez home after it was settled apparently wanting to have a conversation and I don’t know if that’s what triggered some sort of anger, but unfortunately a life was lost.”


That visit to Leon Perez’s residence ended tragically.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“Around 4:15 p.m., Morter and Gill were socialising at Gill’s residence when they went to another residence in that vicinity, Leon Perez. An argument ensued between Perez, Morter and Gill where Perez pulled out a knife, inflicting that fatal wound to Morter and injuring Gill. Morter was pronounced dead at the Karl Heusner and his body now awaits a post-mortem.”


Word of the incident spread quickly to the family. Darlene Morter was at home when she received a message through Facebook. Along with her father, she rushed to the K.H.M.H., but by that time Elston had already succumbed to his injuries. Darlene says anyone who knew her brother knows he had a phobia for knives.


Darlene Morter

Darlene Morter, Sister of Deceased

“I was still in a shock. I got the message and I heard when she said well yo know yo need to rush so and so because such and such has happened to your brother. He was stabbed. And my only question was is he critical? How is he? Because he left here from earlier in the morning to see his kids. And he was to come back to help my dad to fix his truck. Me and my dad, he was the one who took me to the hospital where I met the guy – the kind young man, one of his close friends, very close to him – who took him to the hospital and stayed the entire time to make sure that my brother was taken care of as much as he could until he was pronounced dead.”


Morter was a seaman working with the Belize Coast Guard for five years. He worked as an engineer and was an outboard mechanic. He was off-duty at the time of the incident, but Captain Elton Bennett says it’s a sad day for the military organization.


Elton Bennett

Captain Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“A very sad day for the Belize Coast Guard. Seaman Elston Morter was a good sailor; he did significant contributions to the Belize Coast Guard as an organization and by extension, the maritime security in terms of providing all the necessary support that we give to the nation. Seaman Elston Morter joined the Belize Coast Guard five years ago, in 2016; he was part of recruit intake number eight.”


The family wants justice because “Ton” or “Spoon,” as he was affectionately known, was not a person who gets into trouble.


Darlene Morter

“He was all for his kids. He always said he wanted to make sure they got the best of everything, even things he couldn’t get. He is not a problemsome person that any of us would know him as so this is a real shocker to us. He is a person that always tries to resolve issues. He would find a way to get the issue resolved without having the whole drama with police and all that.  I always warn him that you have friends, but there will come a time that there will be certain things that you are not able to stop. You cannot try to resolve everyone issues. He was more like a peacemaker. But I always try to warn him not to do that because I feared that one of these days something like this might happen, but just not to the extreme as to how it played out or ended off.”


Captain Elton Bennett

“The Coast Guard mourns and I am sure his family mourns likewise. Very unfortunate situation and we hope that justice is served.”


Elston Morter leaves behind twin boys. Duane Moody for News Five.


Morter will be buried with full honors and the Belize Coast Guard will provide financial support to his family and next of kin. Through access to an employee assistance program, members of the coast guard and his family can get access to counseling during this time of grief.

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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