General — 09 February 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
Wanted gunman surrenders to police for Coney Drive shooting

He is accused of shooting a cop who was chasing him and his companion

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 7, 2019– A wanted gunman has reportedly turned himself in to police a day after he became a wanted man for shooting and wounding a police officer on Coney Drive.

Constable Leon Hijinio, 25, was shot in his right upper shoulder while trying to apprehend a man who was fleeing from police yesterday afternoon on Coney Drive, Belize City.

Police said that at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, they were patrolling the Philip Goldson Highway between Belize City and Brodies Supermarket on the highway, and while approaching the second roundabout near Brodies Agrochemicals (the first roundabout is the Flag Monument), they saw two men who are well-known to them, traveling on a motorcycle, going in the same direction in which they were heading.

Police said that when they passed the roundabout and neared the RENCO battery factory on the highway, they tried to stop the men to conduct a routine search for drugs and firearms, but the driver accelerated his bike, setting off a high-speed chase.

Police sent out an alert and pursued the men, who turned off the highway at Coral Grove Puma Gas Station and headed into Coney Drive, in the direction of Princess Margaret Drive.

At the Fultec building, their escape came to a screeching halt when their path was blocked by another police vehicle coming toward them from the direction of Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Police said the men jumped off the motorbike and they ran, but the driver was quickly apprehended and taken down, and PC Hijinio ran behind the passenger to apprehend him. That was when the passenger took out a gun from his pants and when he reached the Transparent BPO compound, he turned and fired at the officer, hitting him in the shoulder.

The man then ran into a bushy area and disappeared.

People who were in the area said the shooting was like “a war zone.”

ASP Alejandro Cowo, police’s Commander of Crimes Investigation, told the media this evening that the injury suffered by the policeman is described as not life-threatening. He said that the officer was reluctant to go to the hospital, saying it was no big deal, just a little wound, but they were able to convince him to go.

The man who was driving the bike at the time of the incident and was initially arrested has been identified as Clifton Allen, 23, an unemployed resident of Lake Independence (Lake I), Belize City, and his accomplice has been identified as  his cousin, Ulide Allen, 20, also of Lake Independence.

Police were in high gear trying to capture Allen. ComPol Chester Williams and business owners were offering a reward of $2,000 for information leading to his arrest.

During the regular police press brief held this morning, Thursday, at the Raccoon Street Police Station, ASP Alejandro Cowo said, however, that Ulide Allen came in this morning and handed over himself to police, in the company of his attorney.

Allen is facing an array of charges, including aggravated assault with a firearm, discharging a firearm in public, and wounding, among other charges.

Ulide Allen is no stranger to police. In January 2016, he was arrested and charged for robbery after he and another man allegedly violently stole a pair of Nike slippers from of the feet of a 14-year-old boy.

Then in August, 2016, he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and remanded. Police allege that he was the gunman who fired at Dorita Tillett, 30, and her boyfriend, Dwayne Garbutt, 34, while they were walking on Tibruce Street.

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