BELMOPAN, Wed. May 16, 2018– On Monday night at around 10:30, shots were fired in the Cohune Walk area at the house of Belmopan mayor Khalid Belisle and at his fiancé’s car, which was parked on the street in front of the house.
According to the mayor, he was awakened by four loud bangs.
At first, the mayor did not recognize the bangs as the sound of gunshots. He realized that the sounds, however, had come from the direction of his balcony, so he flipped on the lights and peered through, the sliding glass doors to ensure that no one was on the balcony.
Seeing that no one was there, Belisle went downstairs and put on the porch lights to determine if anyone was outside his home. When he did not see anyone there, he messaged some colleagues via a Whatsapp group chat.
About fifteen minutes later, one of Belisle’s colleagues went to the house. While speaking outside on the street, the colleague pointed out to Belisle that his fiancé’s car had a flat tire, and there was an area on the door on the passenger side of the vehicle where the paint had been peeled off.
Still not realizing that the loud noises had been gunshots, Mayor Belisle disregarded the flat tire and the peeled paint as the result of normal, everyday incidents. He then went back to sleep.
The next morning, Belisle, remembering that he had to change the flat tire on the car, called another friend to assist him. That person then alerted the mayor to a hole in the bumper of the car, one in the tire, and another in the rim of the tire.
It was at this point that Belisle and his friend connected what had happened to the car to what had transpired the night before. Belisle’s friend also saw the paint from the passenger-side door on the ground in front of the door, and then they realized that the mark on the car was probably also caused by a bullet.
The men then started to look around the house and yard, and found pockmarks in the wall near the front door and also in the cement fence.
At this time, members of the Traffic Department arrived at the mayor’s home and they assisted in looking around the area. During this search, they found six expended shells across the street from the house.
Today, we spoke with OC Dwayne Sutherland (officer-in-charge of Belmopan police), who said that the shells were those of a 9mm pistol.
After the search by the Traffic Department, the Scenes of Crime Unit arrived at the mayor’s house, and during the course of their investigation, one of the investigators mentioned that, based on his knowledge of the amount of clips that some guns hold, more shells would probably be found.
Sure enough, they found two more shells a short distance away, according to the mayor.
When asked if he would take extra security measures around his home, Mayor Belisle responded that he is already in the process of installing cameras around the house, and he is working towards having a security guard at the house too.
The mayor mentioned that although mayors do usually have security guards at their homes, he found that in Belmopan, it was not necessary, especially since his predecessors also did not have any security guards.
Although members of the public have been speculating that the shooter was one of the squatters of Pleasant Creek Reserve whom the Belmopan City Council recently relocated, Mayor Belisle said that he at this time does not know who could be responsible, and why they would shoot at his house.