Murder in Belize City; police shoot suspect

Moses Gonguez

Moses Gonguez

Thursday, March 5, 2015. AARON HUMES Reporting: On election night, Wednesday, around 9:30 p.m. there was a murder in Belize City.

But police were quick to respond and in fact caught up with the culprit in the immediate area – and shot him dead.

Jervis Valencio

Jervis Valencia

32 year old Jervis Valencio is believed to be the man who moments earlier shot at a group of men and women socializing in a yard on Mayflower Street off Vernon Street, killing 36 year old Moses Gonguez of Sibun Street and wounding 23 year old Triston Gordon of Casuarina Street.

According to police, Valencio then ran off and upon reaching at the corner with Mayflower and Vernon Streets, he was ordered to stop by police, who had already taken up positions to block any escape route.

However, Valencio turned towards the direction of the police and pointed a black pistol in their direction.

Police responded by firing several shots at Valencio causing injuries to the neck and upper part of his chest.

Triston Gordon

Triston Gordon

According to Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero, officer commanding criminal investigation branch, police know Valencio, Gonguez and Gordon to live in the same general area.

Gonguez was recently charged with soliciting for a criminal gang in the Police’s roundup of suspected gang members last year.

Gordon was a victim of the infamous grenade attack in the neighborhood in May of 2010 and Valencio has been charged with numerous incidents.

But how do police justify shooting Valencio?

Hilberto Romero

Hilberto Romero

While the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) is conducting the usual investigation for a police-involved shooting, Superintendent Romero says there is little doubt that the officers were defending their lives after being unable to get Valencio to cooperate and turn himself in.

The officers did not draw until Valencio turned his weapon on them and the firearm with extended magazine was retrieved directly from next to him.

Responding officers – both mobile patrol and officers from the checkpoint on Vernon Street – fired a total of four shots at Valencio.

They are still trying to determine how many shots were fired on Gonguez and the rest of his group.

The police’s criminal and internal investigations continue

And this morning there was a shooting incident just down the street at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets, in which no one was injured.

Police are trying to establish whether the incidents are related.

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