Police shoot and kill Allen Garcia Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

The Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department is investigating the fatal shooting of a man from Chunox Village, Corozal. Police officers say that they had to shoot him because he came at them with a machete, and attempted to chop an on-duty officer.

The incident happened at around 4:50p.m. on Friday, June 9, in Chunox. The police were there to speak with 44 year-old Richard Allen Garcia. They were on yet another attempt to try and reason with him because he was staying at the residence of the land owner, and he had overstayed his welcome on her property.

A few months ago, a lady from Chunox Village had an agreement with Garcia who had nowhere to stay. She agreed to allow him to live on her land out of kindness; she wanted to help him with his homelessness. She came back a few months ago with the intention of developing her land, but, according to her report to police, he aggressed her with a machete. She said that Garcia drove her away from her own land, and so she requested police intervention to get him to move.

Police information is that other residents had attempted to reason with him following that confrontation with the landowner, and he threatened them, and he reportedly sent threats to the police. So, police went to speak with him on that Friday, and they prepared themselves for the possibility that he would aggress them, and they armed themselves accordingly.

They went to the house in the village looking for him, but he was not there. They did a sweep of the village, and returning to the house, they encountered Garcia. According to police, he came charging at them with a machete, and attacked one of the police officer. The officer reportedly fell to the ground, and others fired warning shots to discourage him from trying to chop the officer. The police say that he was undeterred, and it appeared that he intended to chop the officer in the head. The cops say that this incident happened so fast, and that it escalated, where the officers felt that they had no choice but to shoot Garcia. He was injured in the chin, the neck, and the right collar bone, and those injuries were fatal.

The villagers of Chunox continue to strongly disagree with the deadly use of force, and on Friday, they turned into an angry mob. They stoned the police officers with projectiles such as rocks, pieces of cement bricks, bottle, even mangoes and these projectiles damaged police vehicles, breaking windshields, and denting trucks that the cops were using for official business. About 5 officers were injured by that mob. That assault drove the police away, forcing Allen’s body to be left in the yard where he died, exposed to the elements. Police are reporting that there were some villagers who tampered with the scene of the shooting.

The police have made attempts to be transparent with this shooting, and an internal investigation has been commissioned to examine the actions of the officers who were there on that Friday night. Amidst the investigation will be whether or not the officers used excessive force especially given the fact that a number of bullets hit a nearby shop and the shop owner’s vehicle.

While the villagers are insisting that the cops should have chosen to shoot him in areas of the body that are not fatal and deadly, they do concede that Garcia has a history of aggression.