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Oct 26, 2021

Youth Shot in Mayflower Area: Residents Blame Police

A police officer is being accused of shooting an eighteen year old from Belize City in the stomach. The victim is Jason Smith, and according to witnesses a police officer shot him indiscriminately. But, an official police report says officers were conducting a search on several male individuals in an open lot behind the Zoe Ministries Building when a struggle ensued. The report says police heard two loud bangs which sounded like gunshots and as a result they fired shots into the air to disperse the crowd, immediately after they realized Jason Smith was injured. Police say two expended shells were found in a nearby yard. News Five’s Paul Lopez was on the scene shortly after.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Residents from the Mayflower Street area, in Belize City, confronted a group of police officers just after midday.The confrontation was preceded by an incident on a nearby open lot. It is alleged that police shot old Jason Smith Jr. We spoke to the grandmother of the alleged victim.


Sandra Utar

Sandra Utar, Grandmother, Shooting Victim

Police mobile was passing and one on cycle, and apparently they stopped and told them they have guns, the girls that they have guns. They stopped and searched them. My grandson then told them, we don’t have any guns. We are just celebrating our family’s birthday which is today.”


An amateur video shows the confrontation between police and the youths. As seen in the video, an officer attempted to detain one of two young men. A scuffle ensued.  Jason Smith, the young man in the blue shirt, is seen attempting to intervene between police and his cousin. A second police officer held Smith at a distance. The video does not capture the remainder of the physical altercation, as the officer and the young man went out of the frame of the video. Seconds later, several shots are heard. One police officer is seen in the video firing a warning shot in the air, before pointing his rifle in the direction of Jason Smith Jr. The video also does not capture the moment the police officer allegedly shot Smith to the stomach.


Sandra Utar

“They fired about four shots in the air as my grandson stated and he started running. When he ran, they shot him. And dah then the barrage a shots started coming out from the police. I don’t know how many vehicles there was, because I still was afraid, due to shots that were being fired still.”


Smith collapsed on the steps of a nearby home. He was then rushed to the KHMH with a gunshot wound to the stomach. And, even after Smith was shot, his cousin and the police officer were still in a scuffle.


Sandra Utar

“He said that the bullet, according to how it seems ended in his stomach.”


Paul Lopez

“Did he say how police managed to shoot him in the stomach?”


Sandra Utar

“He told Mr. Rosado everything about it.”


Paul Lopez

“Was he facing the police or running?”


Sandra Utar

“He was running, because it was from behind. So automatically if you had a gun, deh nuh mih wah shoot you from behind.  Deh the deh fih serve and protect, but deh nuh the protect. Deh the abuse fih deh power weh deh have.”


Information to News Five is that police initially approached the individuals for loitering. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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