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Apr 3, 2012

2nd Cop attacked by teen grazed by bullet

Also in Caye Caulker, a teenager is on the run after shooting a cop.  It happened shortly after five o’clock on Monday evening. The shooter, Ernesto Bernardez, was wanted by police for a robbery. Bernardez was about to leave the island when police caught up with him.  Within minutes, shots rang out and PC John Valerio was injured on the head. News Five’s Isani Cayetano files the following report from Caye Caulker.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Across Caye Caulker today a massive manhunt was underway for Ernesto Bernardez.  Lampposts all over the tiny island are stapled with wanted posters of the teenager who allegedly opened fire on a uniformed police officer on Monday evening, a few feet away from the airstrip.  Bernardez had just walked into the Maya Island Air office to purchase a ticket to Belize City prior to the near fatal shooting.  The office assistant, who spoke with me off camera, booked Bernardez’s seat on the return flight.


Voice of: Office Assistant

“He arrived here around five o’clock and asked for a ticket to go to the city.  I asked him his name and he refused to give me his name.  He gave me a little paper with his name.  I started to process the ticket and while doing that he had paid me, and I processed the ticket and while doing that he stepped outside.”


Once outside, Bernardez was approached by police corporal John Valerio, who was responding to information that a young man matching the description of a suspect, wanted in connection with the robbery of a nine millimeter pistol, had been seen in the area.


Ernesto Bernardez

Voice of: Office Assistant

“Within seconds of stepping outside and he went around the building, like to the east side, within like a minute or so we heard a gunshot.  And coming outside from the building there was another gunshot and arriving on the east side of the building we met a police officer that was shot.  He said he had just been shot this young man.”


Police report that Valerio was in the process of frisking Bernardez when his service revolver was taken from him.  Bernardez then aimed the weapon and fired twice, hitting the officer in the left side of his head before fleeing into the Bahia Puesta del Sol Area.


In the wake of the brazen shooting residents of the island are in an uproar, concerned about the spike in crime and violence over the last few days.


Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson, Caye Caulker Resident

“We cannot have firearms on this island, I’m obviously sorry but this island is near to Belize City, it’s quick return for people coming from Belize City to commit crimes.  But the whole island is one hundred percent behind keeping the crime down here.  We live off tourism.  We make all our income out of tourism.  What on earth is happening!”


According to Norman Crawford, the incident has left many on La Isla Carinosa frightened.  This stretch along which he and his friends congregate has been decorated with posters of their own, urging residents, as well as law enforcement to exercise understanding.


Norman Crawford

Norman Crawford, Caye Caulker Resident

“Everybody is so shaken up, you know, the whole Caye Caulker residents are in fear right now and by the way the cop was a good cop, you know.  I mean we have good cops and bad cops but this one was okay, you know.  He was always there when you needed him and stuff like that.  But the reason why this thing happened evidently [is because] he went after the guy and the guy had a gun and he had the upper hand and fired shot after the guy [the police officer] too.”


Bert Nicholas, also known as Ras Creek, was awakened out of his slumber in the wee hours by a team of officers searching for Bernardez.


Bert Nicholas, Caye Caulker Resident

Bert Nicholas

“I was woken up by the police to say well they were doing their job and they want to find this person who has done that to one of my officer friends because I know the man very well too.  And I feel shocked that it’s going on this way because there are a lot of people who want to see this get done and get the island back to normal peacefulness, you know what I mean.”


PC Valerio was transported to Belize City last night where he was treated at the K.H.M.H. His injuries have since been certified as wounding. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Up to news time, Bernardez has still not been located. 

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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11 Responses for “2nd Cop attacked by teen grazed by bullet”

  1. Storm says:

    I hope the police take him, dead or alive — and they don’t take chances with their own safety in the process.

  2. Rod says:

    And the carnage continues in the country but I hope all of you who voted for this incompetent gov. And pm again I hope you or one of your family members are not th e next one in line .

  3. APACHE says:

    It is a shame that 2 COPS would lose their weapon to a 17year old, man, I wouldn’t put my life in their hand if they cant even look out for theirs. I am not condoning the actions of a criminal but Police Officers are supposed to be alert and trained.

  4. mankind says:

    let him be tried just like the guy who shot dean barrow friend rodwell williams.

  5. Adam Thompson says:

    As I said yesterday during interview, as a representative of Tourism on Caye Caulker, contributing to the Guide Books and positively towards tourism. Having spent the last 17 years with a Belizean Partner and Voter since 1997. As a retired Police Officer; We all need to stick together and stop this. We all need to support The Police to prevent negative tourism on Caye Caulker. As an experienced Attorney I feel that cheap words do not assist us in moving this Island ahead.

    Adam Thompson B.A, M.A. MLIA(dip)

  6. american says:

    hey he looks just like Trayvon Martin, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson says the black kid is harmless.

  7. Steel says:

    Shame on this little rug rat. Police wah shoot he b4 dem hold on 2 ah. Yuh youth don mi dear

  8. Cliff says:

    theres more to this story than he just shot at the police

  9. CEO says:

    I hope he is a good swimmer because it is hard to hide on an island!

  10. OriginalWoman says:

    American YOU ARE A TRUE IDIOT!!!!! You have to be a FOOL to mention Trayvon Martin, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s name, trying to ADD INSULT TO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SCENARIO as the one that occurred in Caye Caulker. If you do not know what to say, better not to say something than anything and end up sounding stupid like the IDIOT YOU ARE, IDIOTTTT!!!!

  11. mailman says:

    not funny @ american, Trayvon is dead, God rest his soul, ,respect the dead, you;re white, figures,

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