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Cops shoot call center agent

GeneralCops shoot call center agent

Rondane Swazo, 22, was shot once in the chest during a purported scuffle with a police officer after he attempted to sell several items that were reported stolen, and he is expected to be charged for handling stolen goods.

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Sept. 9, 2022

Just before 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, a call center agent, Rondane Swazo, 22, was shot once in the chest by a police officer during what police are claiming was a scuffle during which Swazo attempted to wrest control of a police officer’s gun after two officers tried to detain him on Euphrates Avenue for attempting to sell them stolen goods.

According to initial police reports, the owner of the reportedly stolen goods informed police officers that he saw his items being promoted on social media for sale, and obtained the assistance of PC Zani Savala and PC Cory Cleland, who posed as persons wanting to purchase the items.

Those officers then met Swazo in the East Collet Canal area, where he reportedly took the stolen items for sale. The officers are claiming, however, that when they attempted to detain Swaso for the stolen goods, he resisted arrest, then attempted to flee. According to the officers, they followed him into a bushy abandoned lot on Euphrates Avenue adjacent to a basketball court in the area.

They are claiming that at that point, when PC Savala called for reinforcement, Swazo emerged from some bushes, where he had apparently been hiding, and tried to take away Savala’s gun, which caused it to go off, and the bullet that was fired hit Swazo in the chest.

Swazo’s girlfriend and loved ones, however, are finding it hard to believe this account of what happened. According to his girlfriend, Swazo is a low-key, law-abiding individual, and he had just left his house when shots were fired at him.

“… everyone knows he is from work to home — everyone knows that, his manager, his supervisor, co-workers, friends. He is not affiliated with gangs. Like what I said, this is not a gang-affiliated situation. This is just maybe police wants some points,” she told a local reporter.

She went on to claim, “Literally 5 minutes he left from home, then we heard gunshots, then afterwards everybody ran out there and they say that your boyfriend got shot. So when I got there they already took the body, so the lady that was there came and talk me and said ‘Sweety, you know they left your boyfriend right there’, and say that if she didn’t went there and see this guy still breathing, they would have left him there to die.”

When Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams held a press briefing on Monday, he informed the media that the bullet that injured Swazo entered his chest and exited through his back and that he was sent to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for medical treatment and is listed as being in a stable condition.

The ComPol further stated that an internal investigation is being carried out to determine whether the officers involved in the incident complied with the Belize Police Department’s policy in regard to pursuit of a suspect.

“One cannot expect that the officer would have waited for the young man to take away his gun before doing something. I saw some of the comments on social media, and it would appear to me that some people would rather see the young man take police gun and kill the police, as opposed to the police responding the way he did. When we do have these shootings, it is always unfortunate, but at the end of the day, police officers are there to do a duty and in so doing, they also have a right to protect themselves and the wider public,” said Commissioner Williams.

Swazo is expected to be charged for handling stolen goods.

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