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Nov 13, 2012

Sgt. Paulino Reyes again? Another questionable shooting incident

Paulino Reyes

Cop on Cop violence made the headlines on March 2010, when Sergeant Paulino Reyes shot and killed Corporal Gavin Sanchez inside the sleeping quarters of the San Pedro Police Formation. The corporal was shot eight times and in June, 2011, a coroner’s inquest found that Reyes acted in self defense and would not face charges. But Reyes is back in the news tonight and it involves the shooting of a fifty-three year old man in Valley of Peace. With the translation from his daughter, Donatilo Canales, gave his version of Sunday’s shooting to News Five from a hospital bed.


Donatilo Canales, Shooting Victim (Translated)

“Yesterday, I was in my yard. I had just reached from my work and some friends arrived in a vehicle. They said they wanted to have a conversation with me so I came outside. When Mr. Reyes was passing by, I told him bye. He stopped the vehicle and asked me why I was doing bad signals to him. I said no I am not doing bad signals, I am telling you bye. He pushed me on my chest and then he took out his gun and shot my right leg. When I dropped on the floor, then he shot my second leg and then he hit me with the gun on this part of my head. He pointed the gun on my forehead twice and he told me he wanted to kill me.”


Jose Sanchez

Donatilo Canales

“Are you positive that the person is Sgt. Paulino Reyes?”


Donatilo Canales

“Yes, I’m sure.”


Jose Sanchez

“And so he shot you how many times?”


Donatilo Canales

“Two times.”


Jose Sanchez

“Did you threaten him? Did you make any aggressive moves? Did you try to hit him?”


Donatilo Canales



Jose Sanchez

“And after he shot you, what happened?”


Donatilo Canales

“He grabbed me from my shirt, dragged me to back pan of the vehicle and then took me to his mother’s house. I was bleeding a lot. I asked him please help me. He told me die.”


Jose Sanchez

“How long were you at his mother’s house?”


Donatilo Canales

“For about fifteen minutes.”


Jose Sanchez

“Did you have on any bandages? Did you have a shirt tied on your foot? What did you have to stop the bleeding?”


Donatilo Canales

“No, nothing. What he told me is that he wants me to bleed to death.”


Jose Sanchez

“And after that fifteen minutes passed, what happened?”


Donatilo Canales

“He took me to the police house in Valley of Peace and he had me for a while there. Then he brought me to the police station in Belmopan and had me there and then he took me to the hospital.”


Jose Sanchez

“You had a look at the x-ray, what do you understand about it? What were you told?”


Lucia Lopez, Daughter of Donatilo Canales

“I had a look at the x-ray and the two bones I cannot say the name of the bones, but the two bones are fractured. The x-ray shows that the two bones got damaged.”


Lucia Lopez

Jose Sanchez

“Now there was some other incident involving your father and Sgt. Reyes that may or may not be the cause of what happened in this incident. Do you intend to take it to the department that deals with police internal matters?”


Lucia Lopez

“Yes, I have spoken to my lawyer and I will take action and I want justice to be done because it is something that I am angry about, but at the same time I feel very sad to go through this. They have put us through so much expenses and it is really hard on us right now.”


Jose Sanchez

“And to be very clear, Sgt. Reyes was not in uniform, he was off duty?”


Lucia Lopez

“That’s what my mom, was a witness. My dad also told me that Sgt. Reyes was in civilian clothing and he was driving a red pickup with no plates, tinted glasses. Obviously he is breaking the law by driving a vehicle like that.”


Jose Sanchez

“Umm, your mother was there when this entire thing happened?”


Lucia Lopez

“Yes she was; she saw everything.”


Jose Sanchez

“If an officer has shot someone and that person is in plain clothes or not in uniform and also not on duty, is it normal procedure in a case of that sort that the officer would be placed on interdiction and at least asked to turn in their handgun?”


Raphael Martinez

Raphael Martinez, Police Press Officer

“Of course because police officer is–with or without uniform—a police officer. As long as he is enlisted, he is still in the service of the police department, he is a police officer. Just to reiterate; whether he is in or out of uniform, he is still a police officer and the rules and regulations; the terms of service; the terms of engagement remains the same.”


Jose Sanchez

“So clearly your office will be looking into the case of Mister Donatilo Canales with immediately and much effect as you can?”


Raphael Martinez

“That’s the name of the person who was killed?”


Jose Sanchez

“No he wasn’t killed; he was shot twice—on each of his two feet; his bones shattered. His daughter says it was done with provocation even though Mister Reyes claims that he was pushed in an aggressive manner by this elderly gentleman.”


Raphael Martinez

“Yeah. Well at this point you know a little more than I do. I will need to go do my research to get back in touch with you.”


Following the interview, the Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez sent a press release saying that Reyes was attached to Special Branch at Valley of Peace and at five-thirty p.m. on Sunday, he told Canales, an alleged drug dealer, not to loiter on the street side. Reyes, in his report, claims that Canales punched him in the jaw which prompted him to fire a single shot from his service weapon which hit Canales on the left leg. According to the report, Reyes’ gun jammed and he could only subdue Canales by hitting him with the gun butt on his head. This account of events is a stark contrast from Canales who says he was shot twice. Both his legs have been bandaged by doctors at the K.H.M.H. 

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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40 Responses for “Sgt. Paulino Reyes again? Another questionable shooting incident”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    He is a dirty cop and he must be fired straightaway. This guy is a cowardly psycho who loves the sight of blood on defenseless people.

  2. Genotu Rembiuos says:


  3. Storm says:

    The claims need a full and impartial investigation. I doubt that can occur in the Jewel, but if Reyes is a rogue cop, he needs to be gone — imprisoned, in fact, if he illegally shot the man.. The fact he was out of uniform makes it sound more like a personal vendetta than legitimate police work, at first look.

    Let’s see how honestly our honorable Minister of National Security and ComPol can handle the case.

  4. Islandboy says:

    This officer is trigger happy and a rogue cop and nothing is being done to stop him. The police protect each other and there will never be any justice done in Belize. We are indeed in a sad position.

  5. Timothy D. says:

    The police needs to learn & know the CONSTITUTION.
    move away from the street because you are loitering…on PUBLIC GROUNDS..

  6. Belizean Pride says:

    the only justice is to have mr. Canales family or any member join police force and return the favor to Reyes as he did to the late officer Gavin Sanchez and then justice will be serve since cop kills cop and nothing happens, so be it.

  7. islandbwai says:

    I wouldn’t be sad to see police station being blown up for fun, because these officers take people life for granted. Mein if that was my father, Reyes, two words “Run & hide” caz I mi wah find u. Mien tired a them police hurting innocent people. God if you don’t have people skill or care for humanity. Go do something else because policing is not for you. Jesus, man borrow u need to wake up also. Give it a lil time and you will see this police walk free and back to do the same corrupt job. You need to go to jail.

  8. corozaleno Says says:

    I won’t justify the officer. But on the other hand, as an officer passing on the road and you meet an allegged drug dealer and he waves you goodbye, what would you think the wave was for? The wave was telling the officer ‘go to hell, you can’t touch me!’ This is the arrogant “I am untouchable” attitude drug dealers have. He was insulting the officer. But at the same time if excess force was used by the officer, then a throurogh a investigation must be done.

  9. sweetcheeks says:

    Really Mr. Press Officer ???

  10. as you see it no judge it says:

    come on guys, the police man no crazy fi just stop and shoot the man, think bout it.

  11. Lorena says:

    I am from Valley of Peace, ppl from there knows the truth, Reyes has been the only officer that has done a tremendous great job. The only ones that doesn’t like him are the trouble makers but the peace lover are with him. He is not a rogue cop, he does his job. At the moment, the police stationed at the village is disrespected and even beaten by these same sprank heads because he is a corrupted cop and can’t open his mouth because he lives from bribes.

    Almost the entire village is with Reyes, he is not corrupted and he has earn respect.

  12. senel says:

    the dude is a detective and he is in the intelligence field..( Special Branch)… to stop the uniform or not in uniform talks,,, detectives dont wear number uniforms… they dress in plains clothes and are always on duty 24/7… does that clear your mind dudes???

  13. From the West says:

    I would not be so quick to jump to conclusions about this officer, Police in Belize are usually on to something, even though it looks suspicious at first glance. I bet the guy in VOP was up to no good.

  14. Young Gial says:

    This is a sad but real situation. For sure this officer cannot be involved in such an incident again without being suspicious. It is in matters like this one that the Internal Affairs need to be called on. This is a good example of how unfair the commissioner and Whiliey were being when they immediately put the GSU on interdiction without getting the two sides of the story covered and properly investigated. Here is where the officer should be put on immediate interdiction, because it is obvious he did not use justifiable use of force. How does an officer justify using gun shots to subdue a man that has no weapon on his person. Mr. Whiliey and Mr. Commissioner of police, here is where you can waste your time to put someone on interdiction and under internal affairs investigation, hello….

  15. Nimbo says:

    smells more like a corrupt gun slinging officer. If it is well known to the cop that this is a drug peddler does this give him authority to shoot the man without due reason or proof- twice as it seems when it has not been reported the alleged attacker was armed? i would think it would be smarter to wait till they can arrest him with his hands in the dough- right?

    Agree with Storm- full and impartial investigation is more than due. he already has a record at SP whatever he says happened there.

  16. Seletar says:

    Several good comments here, and I especially agree with Young Gial.

  17. Ernesto Cambranes says:

    So funny, all Valley of Peace wants Reyes, thats why he couldn,t stay long in Valley. After he killed sanchez. Why not make a research on the Reyes that came from Salvador as refugees? Then you will know why he is so blood thirst. Whoever live by the gun, will die by the gun. Your days are numbered Reyes.

  18. From Valley of Peace says:

    I am from Valley of peace and I totally agree with the person who comment about Don Atilo saying goodbye to Mr Paulino! the first thing that comes to my mind would be that he was trying to provoke him. I know that man and it will be better for him to be speaking the truth with the public because if people from valley are asked to comment about Mr Paulino, we will be sharing what is true.Mr Reyes has done exceptional work in our village for the few months he worked here. above all, I think he has been one of the best officers Valley has had.We are even asking for him again because our village needs a hardworking and dedicated police like him.

  19. Valle de Paz says:

    The officer must have a good reason for taking that action towards Don Atilo. Come on, I am from Valley I know the attitude of that man. He only wanted to provoke Mr paulino.

  20. John says:

    Why are Belizeans so ignorant, sorry for saying it like that but it is the simple truth. You are taken away by any media news. I am sure if you all had read that Srgt. Paulino was hit by a drug dealer and did nothing you would have all said “oh lard, what type a police officers we here da Belize di pratect us.” I am from Valley of Peace Village and I can tell you that Mr. Donatilo Canales is the man that sells Marijuana and crack to youngsters, the same youths that are on the street committing crimes. Let the officer do his job, that is why he has his gun. Come on people think before you all talk.

  21. ratty says:

    Eight shots, self defence..two shots, self defence. This dude is protected by the evil forces. Just imagine if he was given the middle finger

  22. Lorena says:

    lets be real, this officer is not liked by many other police and by high ranking ppl because when he walks he step on fat toes left and right, you understand what I mean? These type of police are to be treasure because there are few of them. The guy that he killed in san Pedro was nothing good, ppl from there can atest to it.

    I realy would like the media to get the other side of the story from ppl of the village. This family is known to be the ones selling drugs there. Police records can prove it, hasn’t been the first time they get involve with the law.

  23. VOP says:

    @lorena,,,, U know u are rite cause most of the peace loving ppl of valley of peace like reyes and everybody know everybody so i agree fully with what u said.

  24. Buju says:

    My question is “if the gun didn’t jam” how much time would he have shot this man??????????

  25. Corozal Man says:

    So strange policemen shoot defenseless people around. In Corozal, the real criminals roam around the streets and police have their backs. You call them and there is no mobile or it has no fuel. Police should really look after the real criminals (and they know who they are) and take care our jewel

  26. proud vallen'o says:

    listen i grew i valley i moved out from there because this man always mi used to treatened my family,this man is nothing good,its a pity that paulino shot him but valley needs law & order paulino is a great police here no one is saying the full story from what paulino is saving valley of peace,there is a gang in valley of peace they have weapons,drugs and the man power to mess up valley one police has stoped all this one police officer I ask the minister of security that this types of cops we want in belize,BIG UP PAULINO BIG UP VALLEY OF PEACE.PEACE OUT MI JENTE.

  27. V.O.P Girl says:

    Mr Paulino is a honest man i know him from years he respect you if u respect him back..if you guys didnt know he is a detective and that gives him the right to dress the way he wants .. At Ernesto Cabranes we all are refugees we all came from a diffrent country to make a life plz stop judge cause i bet that some of your family came as refugees too you ignorant..

  28. Pedro Dolmo says:

    The coroners inquest found this police officer innocent now the devil has showed its ugly face again he needs to be put jail his rogue and trigger happy behavior cannot be tolerated utter nonsense

  29. Vopresident says:

    I agree with what Lorena said. I know both individuals. Sgt. Paulino is one of the few cops who does his job well. In valley of peace everyone liked how he dealt with some individuals who thought they were above the law. The man that was shot is a drug dealer. Everyone knows that. People just comment and dont know the individual.

  30. Sofia says:

    Paulino has been the only police officer that is honest and has done an outstanding job. He exposes corruption and has zero tolerance! Y cuando tu retas a una persona dela ley, your just asking for it!!! Ohala este caso sea investigado bien, y no se juzgue por incidentes pasados que nada tienen que veer.
    Officers are trained to aim at the suspect’s body and continue to fire until the threat is ended. he fired too many times! People could say, He was out to kill. hmmmm You weren’t there. You have no idea. It wasn’t your life on line. Police officers are not trained to shoot to kill. They are trained to “shoot to live!!
    Un policia tiene 3.5 segundos en pensar si usa su arma para vivir mientras la gente, las noticias y las cortes tendran años o decadas. para preguntarse “porque no uso su arma” ??? para defenderse del criminal y dejo que lo matara…..

  31. Justice Mi Seh says:

    Nov 23, 2006
    Victim, witnesses say cop shot man for no reason
    Story PictureThere was a time many, many years ago that accusations of police brutality were so rare as to actually be newsworthy. Today, to qualify for airtime an alleged victim needs to be shot by a cop, preferably in front of multiple witnesses. And that’s exactly what happened this morning in Roaring Creek. News Five’s Janelle Chanona has the story.
    Janelle Chanona, Reporting
    Tonight, twenty-two year old construction worker Reginald Ruiz is admitted to ward at the Western Regional Hospital recuperating from a gunshot wound to the left thigh. Ruiz claims he was deliberately injured by a police officer.
    The incident took place around nine this morning at Ruiz?s home at number ninety one Neal Street in Roaring Creek. Officers from Belmopan?s Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Branch went to the residence to conduct a routine raid for drugs and weapons. Both sides agree that only Corporal Paulino Reyes, commanding officer of the Belmopan Criminal Investigation Branch entered the home and ordered the six men inside to stand and be searched. But Ruiz claims that after Corporal Reyes found a pocket knife in his pants, the officer pulled out his nine millimetre handgun and shot him at point blank range.
    Reginald Ruiz, Shooting Victim
    I had a knife but he tek out the knife, and he dash it pan my bed. Me no do nothing. I neva mek no kind ah move. My hand deh pan my head. Nobody no mek no movement then he just tun me round tell me he no like me fram time, then he just put the gun dah my leg and shot me … this da whe the gun shot gawn through.?

  32. Valley of peace says:

    WHY make a research on the Reyes that came from El Salvador as refugees??? nada que ver cn esto…se les puede asegurar que Sgt.Reyes era un ninio en el tiempo k vinieron a Belize…Ademas pork investigar el pasado si lo que se vive es el presente y lo que queremos es un mejor futuro..como dice la mayoria de gente “todaa la vida ese hombre se ah dedicado ah vender marijuana”.Entonces que se quiere en nuestra aldea??que hayan negocios de vender marijuana para termnar de aruinar la juventud??PORFAVOR esto tiene que tener un fin…. Y CON ESO DE QUE LE DIJO”bye” A MR.REYES ES COMO EN FORMA DE BURLA….COMO QUIEN DICE SOY QUIEN SOY Y ESTOY LIBRE…Paulino es un hombre que si save que es su trabajo. Authorities are needed to do something for the improvement of our country no para ser corruptos como otros..QUE SON LOS QUE HAY EN ABUNDANCIA…SGT.Reyes es uno de los POCOS que hay.. honestos y con Zero tolerance como menciono una persona en su comentario…

  33. Sofia says:

    police cannot prevent crime alone; so citizens must share the responsability. If offending occurs, it must always have consequences!! Crime should never be excused and offenders should not be treated as victims. If hes from el salvador doesnt matter, hes in your country defending your people! Appreciate his work, if your not going to help dont criticize without knowing.

  34. Sofia says:

    This is where the government should do their part: Because a police officers work is unpredictable and has potential for personal harm, police officer should have variety of weapons to deal with different circumstances. Such as Night sticks or batons, Tasers that deliver a low-current, high-voltage shock. pepper spray when dealing with several violent people, or shoot rubber bullets and spray tear gas. Not sure if they are provided with these, was just a recommendation.

  35. Sofia says:

    police cannot prevent crime alone; so citizens must share the responsability. If offending occurs, it must always have consequences!! Crime should never be excused and offenders should not be treated as victims. If hes from el salvador doesnt matter, hes in your country defending your people! Appreciate his work, if your not going to help dont criticize without knowing.

    The government should do their part: Because a police officers work is unpredictable and has potential for personal harm, police officer should have variety of weapons to deal with different circumstances. Such as Night sticks or batons, Tasers that deliver a low-current, high-voltage shock. pepper spray when dealing with several violent people, or shoot rubber bullets and spray tear gas. Not sure if they are provided with these, was just a recommendation.

  36. dina canales says:

    This is not the first time he shoot someone! Looks like he loves 2 shoot people! He says my dad is a drug dealer and he still can’t find anything that’s what gets him mad! Hmf….. This kind of police is making all the other police here in belize look bad!

  37. dina canales says:

    This poice man needs 2 be in jail!

  38. Albert says:

    Hi everyone, officers in Valley of Peace are corrupted and steal money from innocent villagers. The superior authority in this case the police force, that suppose to protect the farmers, the vulnerable, the literate from Valley of Peace are using the authorized power for them self. I used to live in Valley of Peace and is crazy how the police force is misused on villagers and I observe how the police in Valley of Peace are the masters of lies and easily get away with crime. To cut short, my dad was a victim of brutal police force in Valley of Peace and as a result we end up leaving that place. The government should train and hire local villagers to carry-on the peace and safety for the people of Valley of Peace. And for Paulino Reyes and the government, I think should provide all the living costs for this man and his family, as he was the provider for his family’s wellbeing. Paulino Reyes should have been out of the police force long time ago and the government took no action to prevent this crime. Lucia Lopes keep your good work, bet this criminals will try to intimidate you to stop you…

  39. jose canales says:

    Really this guy should live in your neiborhood probably the next time u have an overdose off alcohol for any spcial event. He will murder u or ur son call him seriousley do it lets see who will comment against who next time and who will be sorry. ONE MORE THING GOD PLEASE PROTECT ALL MY HATERZ ……AMEN

  40. Joe says:

    This is dumb police sell bullets to civillians this i know why ??? i just do… valley of peace yes bring new generation taliban back hope ur the next one murderd …this officer one stipped seached me naked on the steet. Of. Valley of peace by the catholic church. And the. The people were our allready …just because i told him to have decency he tried to hit me in my face ….seriously i know lots of stuff about him.

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