By Alexis R. Milan
Belize City police are currently conducting an internal investigation after an on-duty police officer, working as a security guard at the popular Element night-club on Newtown Barracks, shot a man, who reportedly tried to enter with a gun..
The man, identified as Kareen Betancourt, was shot in the elbow.
According to Police Press Officer,Raphael Martinez, on Sunday night, June 7, sometime after 1:45 in the morning, 30 year old Kareem Betancourt, before entering the nightclub had to submit to a search. The search was conducted by the officer on special assignment at the club.
While being searched, Betancourtwho was carrying a conceled gun, pointed it at the officer before turning away to run. The officer, whose name has not been released, responded by pulling out his police-issued nine-millimeter pistol and firing it at Betancourt.
The gunman was subdued and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was treated for his injuries and released.
Martinez said the Police Department’s Professional Standards Branch will conduct an inquiry to determine whether or not the officer was justified in his use of force, or if it was excessive.
“Whenever an officer discharges a firearm, even if no one is shot, there is always an internal procedure to determine the justification of the use of force,” he added.
Police at the scene recovered a .45 calibre pistol and five live rounds of ammunition.
Betancourt has since been charged with aggravated assault and remanded to jail forpossession of the heavy calibre gun.