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One man dead, another critical in Cotton Tree shooting

HeadlineOne man dead, another critical in Cotton Tree shooting

Photo: Clint Castillo, deceased

by Charles Gladden

COTTON TREE VILLAGE, Cayo District. Mon. July 8, 2024

A State of Emergency (SOE) is in effect in Cotton Tree Village and several other villages in the Cayo District, to contain the ongoing crime situation in those areas, but it was unable to prevent the death of one man over the weekend.

The murder victim was identified as 39-year-old Clint Castillo, a resident of the village above.

According to reports, Castillo was socializing with some men around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, when an argument escalated into a fight and he tried to be the peacemaker between two men.

When he did so, someone from within the group produced a firearm and fired multiple shots at Castillo, killing him instantly. The triggerman then turned the weapon toward the person he had the conflict with, 32-year-old Andrew Muns, and fired gunshots at him.

Castillo died at the scene and officially was pronounced dead at the Western Regional Hospital. Meanwhile, Muns remains at the hospital in a critical state, with gunshot wounds to his shoulder and neck, and is reportedly paralyzed.

ACP Hilberto Romero, Regional Commander for the Belize Police Department Eastern Division, told the media that before the shooting had occurred, the men were socializing together and consuming alcohol. However, it is unclear what started the argument between Muns and the reported shooter.

The family of Castillo noted to local reporters that they were grief-stricken over their loss. The family said they lost a relative earlier this year, and now, just a few months later, they are dealing with another death in the family. They further mentioned that they had advised Castillo to flee the village, as persons in the area wanted to harm him.

It is alleged that the said shooter had previously assaulted Castillo, just two weeks before his death.

One person has been detained and another individual is being sought, said ACP Romero.

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