Cayo cops shoot to end chopping frenzy

By Marion V. Ali
Staff Reporter

Thursday, Dec. 11th
Cayo police say they had to shoot a man in both legs on Tuesday night, December 9 to get him to abandon his machete attack on another man, who eventually died.

The police report that they came upon a gruesome scene where they saw 23 year old Carlos Cassanova chopping 29 year old Mark Massam Jr. in the face and neck and head.

The cops responded to an emergency telephone call to a place on College Road where they and arrived to witness part of the hacking attack. They called out to the macheteman and ordered him to stop, but Cassanova just kept on chopping with his machete..

Eventually police shot him in both legs and in this way disabled him.
It was abourt 9:15 at night, police say.

Massam was helpless and bleeding on the ground. He died an hour later. .

Cayo Police intend to charge Cassanova with murder, but are trying to determine what triggered this savage attack.

Witnesses say they saw Cassanova and Massam riding together along College Road on separate bicycles a few minutes earlier.
Police have ordered blood tests to measure alcohol or drug levels.
Cassanova’s family reports that he suffers from a mental illness, and that recently had shown signs of extreme paranoia.

Cassanova’s fatther recalled that he had gone to the police earlier to seek help for his son.

Today Corozal Police Commander, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, told the Reporter that the validity of any claim of mental illness would have to be determined by a Court, not by the Police.

The victim of the attack, Mark Massam Jr., was no stranger to the law, but Police sources note that during the past two years Massam had tried to reform his life and had made a “hundred and eighty degree change.”
That change may have had something to do with the birth of his child.

Massam’s family is of the view that Massam was lured to his death. Earlier that night he was at home with his girlfriend and his new baby, but left to go to his brother’s house.

Police say they have recovered two bicycles and two machetes from the murder scene. One of them was the murder weapon.
Massam and Cassanova were neighbours, the police say, living a few houses apart on the same street.

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