Customs officer shoots and kills a man, police still investigating Print E-mail
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Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:00

Dwayne Almendarez, a 30 year-old resident of Orange Walk Town died at the KHMH on Saturday, August 19, 2017 after clinging to life for 4 days in a coma. Cellular phone footage shows that he got into a confrontation with a Customs Officer in a contraband hotspot in the Orange Walk District. Shortly after that incident, he was shot by a Customs Officer, and those injures claimed his life.

Footage captured by a civilian shows that on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at around 4:45 p.m., a customs officer, who remains unnamed by police, was supported by BDF soldiers in an attempt to stop a bus traveling through Yo Creek Village. It was heading from Santa Cruz, a famous contraband hotspot that borders Mexico’s Botes.

The customs officer reportedly tried to confiscate contraband found on the bus, but that allegedly sparked a confrontation between Almendarez and the officer. The law enforcement team reported to their boss that Almendarez supposedly assaulted them, and in the cellular phone footage, it appears that Almendarez confronted them.

These officers claim that the crowd on the bus started to throw rocks at them, and that’s when a warning shot was reportedly fired to stop Almendarez’s advance.

They say that Almendarez was not deterred, and he reportedly continued his attack. The customs officer claims that he feared for his life, and so, he pulled out his 9mm pistol. He shot Almendarez 4 times, 1 to the chest, 2 the stomach, and 1 to the leg. After the shooting Almendarez ran into a nearby house and the customs and BDF team sped off from the scene. Minutes later a police mobile arrived on that scene and rushed the victim to the Northern Regional Hospital, and he was later transported to the KHMH.

After a 4-day struggle to survive, Almendarez succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a hurt family, who are demanding that police investigate and charge the officer who shot him. They are convinced that this officer used excessive deadly force when he shot Almendarez. The police say that they making their inquiries, and that there are delays, but the family interprets that as foot-dragging.

Victoria Novelo, Almendarez’s wife, told the press, “I think every time as usual, they never do justice for poor people and I know that the police are not doing their job - they are not investigating well.”