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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Who Allegedly Stolen Two Cops Guns

Tonight, the small village of Caye Caulker is like a tinder box - tensions between police and criminal elements are running very high - and a special police detachment is combing Caye Caulker - looking for a 17 year old - who allegedly shot an officer in the head yesterday evening.

That officer, PC John Valerio survived because the bullet only grazed him. But it could have been fatal - and the suspect allegedly took the officers service revolver after shooting him. And tonight, police have closed in on that small island because that same 17 year old is accused of stealing another officer's gun on Sunday morning. And after stealing it, he allegedly pointed it at the officer's head, but it did not fire because the safety was on.

So, tonight, this 17 year old is believed to have two weapons, and police say he is still hiding out on the island.

Monica Bodden went out to Caye Caulker today - and she has this story:

Monica Bodden Reporting

The shooting happened here at the airstrip in Caye Caulker village. 17 year old Ernesto Bernardez went inside this Maya Island Air office to book a flight en route to Belize City.

He was a wanted man by police for the robbery of a 9mm pistol belonging to a police officer - which took place on Sunday night.

But while about to catch his 5:30 flight off the island yesterday evening - he was approached by Police Officer John Valerio.

Voice of: Employee of Maya Island Air
"He arrived here at the office exactly 5 o'clock and he wanted to board a flight to go to the city. Our last flight is at 5:20, so I was able to get him on that flight and he gave me the money for the flight. And while processing the ticket, he was really nervous. He then stepped outside, and while I was processing the ticket, right between 5:00 - 5:15 he went around the building going back up north, and within a minute or so we heard the first gun shot."

According to this employee of Maya Island Air, Bernardez was acting suspicious and even gave her a wrong name for his ticket information.

When the young man stepped outside the office - gunshots were heard shortly after - two shots to be precise.

Voice of: Employee of Maya Island Air
"The man tell him and said, 'You heard a gunshot?', and then he ran outside, I ask him to look at where the guy went, and then we heard the other gun shot, and we ran to the corner of the building and police came to our direction that was shot, said I just got shot, the young man shot me.

Monica Bodden
"And he was bleeding?"

Voice of: Employee of Maya Island Air
"Yes he was bleeding from his head, but he was conscious and talking and so he asked for help. My companion took him to the health center in the golf cart."

It is said that 39 year old Police Constable John Valerio - who is attached to the Caye Caulker Police Sub Station met Bernardez at the entrance of the airstrip where the officer stopped and searched him. While doing so, the 17 year old Bernardez managed to take hold of PC Valerio's revolver and as a result shot him twice, one to the left side of his head. He then fled the scene in these nearby bushes.

Residents of the small island are still left in disbelief at the brazen crime committed by this 17 year old.

A manhunt continues in Caye Caulker Village, as police try to locate Ernesto Bernardez who is still armed with both police officers shotguns -He is classified as armed and dangerous.

Coastguard boats are patrolling the waters as police has launched a major operation on the island especially in the south end where he is believe to be hiding in the bushes.

PC Valerio has been treated at the KHMH and released. His injuries were classified as wounding by a medical doctor.

And while that story detailed what happened yesterday - it was all preceded by what happened early on Sunday morning in Caye Caulker. Bernardez allegedly stole a nine mm pistol from another police officer.

According to police, the officer approached Bernardez in connection with an ongoing investigation. They started to fight and Bernardez got a hold of the officer's personal 9mm service revolver pointed it at the officer and attempted to shoot him.

Reportedly, the officer had his weapon on safe it did not fire. Bernardez then struck the officer on the head with the firearm and ran off with the gun.

Intensive sea and land patrols are being conducted by the A.D.U., and Coast guard. According to police, Bernardez, resides at San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town or Gungulung in the Martin's Area of Belize City.

Channel 7

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
If the kid has family there they are most likely hiding him.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 353
Word is he's been caught without bloodshed. Sure hoping it's true.

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 259
Let's hope this rumor is true!

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 353
Apparently the rumor before was not true before but if the media can be trusted, he is now in custody. No word on the location of the two police guns, though.

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