NORTHERN SAN PEDRO–The elite Coast Guard fighting unit, who were conducting an operation in the Bacalar Chico area of Northern San Pedro, about half mile from the Bacalar Chico Border with Mexico, was engaged in a shootout which ended with the death of a man who had allegedly fired at the officers at about 10:30 this morning, about 21 miles north of San Pedro.
Police say that when the Coast Guard returned fire at three men, one man was killed and one of the other two men was believed to be hit, but they both escaped. The Coast Guard did not sustain any casualty.
The dead man has been identified as Peter Castillo, Jr., 21, of the Water Reservoir area of Punta Gorda. He was shot in the heart and both arms, and died on the scene. His body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem.
Inspector Henry Jemmott, the Deputy Commander of San Pedro police, told Amandala that they and the Coast Guard were conducting foot patrols in the area of northern San Pedro when one of the sailors saw three men, believed to be beach combers, or “playadores,” who normally search the area for drugs from wet-drops washing ashore. The men were coming towards them, armed with guns, said Jemmott.
The officers shouted at the men to stop, said Inspector Jemmott, but the man in the front, who was armed with a 12-gauge pump-action sawed-off shotgun, raised the gun and fired at the officers.
The Coast Guard immediately responded and returned fire at the men, and in the gunfire exchange, about 15 shots were fired.
After the shooting, police and the Coast Guard officers went to the area where the men had been and saw the motionless body of a man with three gunshot wounds, one in his left hand, another in his right hand, and one in the chest, said Jemmott.
The motionless body was found a few feet from the beach, in the bushes.
Jemmott said that they also recovered the sawed-off 12 gauge pump action shotgun, which was loaded. It was about 10 feet away from the body, and a short distance from the body, the officers found a bag containing seven live 12-gauge cartridges.
The San Pedro police believe that the victim and his two accomplices are “playadores.”