SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Mon. July 10, 2017–A Guatemalan man is dead and another Guatemalan man remains hospitalized after a shootout with police on Saturday afternoon.
Information to Amandala is that just before 2:00 p.m., Edwin Jimenez (no age provided) was driving his Toyota Hilux on the Calla Creek Road when he came to a stop because several large rocks were scattered across the road. Jimenez exited his vehicle in an attempt to clear the road, but two armed men pounced on him and stole his vehicle, valued at $30,000.
Assistant Commissioner of Police and the Officer Commanding the Police Professional and Standards Branch, Chester Williams, today told the media that Jimenez then contacted his relatives in Bullet Tree Falls, who alerted police, who immediately set up a checkpoint.
The car thieves, however, did not stop at the checkpoint. They sped down the Bullet Tree Road, heading toward Guatemalan territory. The police set chase.
The driver subsequently lost control of the stolen vehicle while trying to overtake a truck, and slammed into a fence about two miles after the checkpoint.
The men got out of the vehicle and one of them, Ervin Rene Huex Xiquen, 37, opened fire on the cops. According to police reports, as many as five shots were fired at the officers. The police returned fire and one bandit was fatally shot, a bullet penetrating the right side of his chest.
His accomplice, Marlon Benedicto Chocooj Portillo, 20, tried to make it across the Mopan River, which was near, but he was slowed by bullet wounds in the groin and the buttocks. Portillo was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where he remains, receiving medical attention.
A search of the stolen vehicle led to the discovery of a .32 revolver with 5 live rounds of .32 ammunition. Another firearm, which the men allegedly used to fire at the officers, is believed to have fallen into the river.
While San Ignacio police prepare to file firearm-related and robbery charges against Portillo, ACP Williams has launched an internal investigation to determine if the force used by police in this incident was justifiable.
Williams told us that two rifles, an AR-15 and an M16, have been sent to the forensic lab for testing to determine which police officer fired the fatal shots that killed Xiquen.12