Crime

Police shoot and kill gun-toting man in Hope Creek

By Marion Ali
Staff Reporter

A regular night out at a village cool spot ended in death on Saturday night for one of the patrons, who was drinking and ended up pointing his gun at customers, police say.
This is what the police reported, but witnesses say Leopold Myvette, 28, did not pull a gun on the police, much less point it at them.

In fact they believe the police used excessive force, shooting at Myvette about ten times – hitting him at least four times in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and foot.
The incident happened not far from Billar Fuentes Bar in the Hope Creek New Site area around 9:00 Saturday nigh July llt, after police arrived from Dangriga on a report that a man was pointing a gun at fellow customers.  

Officer Commanding the Dangriga police , Superintendent Roy Joseph told The Reporter that when police arrived, they saw a group of men sitting on a bench under a tree across from the bar.
Based on the description given to them of the gun-toting man, police spotted the suspect and tried to approach him. But he started to walk away from the crowd.
The policemen who responded to the scene, informed Myvette that they intended to search him, but “Myvette threw a glass he was drinking from to the ground, pulled out a gun from his waist and pointed it at police”, Joseph summed up.

At this point policemen reacted and shot at Myvette, who at that point, began to run.  While he ran, Joseph said, officers saw him throw the gun to the side of the street, before entering a road not far from the bar and collapsing
. Myvette was first taken to the Southern Regional Hospital before being transferred to the Western Regional hospital, where he died four hours later.
According to Superintendent Joseph, police recovered a gun, which they say Myvette discarded as he ran from them.

But contrary to the police version of what occurred, one of the witnesses who spoke with reporters following the incident, said that at no point did Myvette take out a gun and point it at the police. 
The witness also claimed that Myvette, who was playing a game of pool just prior to his being shot, had been drinking, but was not intoxicated.  Furthermore, he was not known to seek out or create problems, the person said.

Superintendent Joseph said that members of the Professional Standards Bureau are investigating the incident to determine whether or not the police abused their authority. He confirmed, however, that all four policemen who responded to the scene, remain on active duty. 

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