Coast Guard Member Slain in Belize City Allegedly Over Domestic Dispute

Coast Guard Member Slain in Belize City Allegedly Over Domestic Dispute

A member of the Belize Coast Guard was slain within shouting distance of his Belize City home.  Around 9:30 last night, 25-year-old, Charles James, was inside an apartment on Consuela Street with his girlfriend and her two children when his life ended abruptly. Police say the deadly shooting was motivated by a dispute over a woman.  Investigators have since detained a teenager they believe was involved. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: On Wednesday night, 25-year-old Charles James was gunned down a stone’s throw away from his home on Consuelo Street in Belize City. The Belize Coast Guard member was at his girlfriend’s apartment having dinner when he was targeted by two gunmen. The assailants barged into the small room and let off several shots at James who was seated on a sofa, as his girlfriend and her two kids took cover. James was shot in the head and by the time police arrived, he had already succumbed to his injuries.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Police received information of shots fired on Consuelo Street in the Saint Martins DePorres area. Upon arrival police observed a male person who was later identified as a member of the Belize Coast Guard suffering from gunshot injuries. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dean on arrival.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: His murderers attempted to escape the scene on foot but were spotted by police as they responded to the area, according to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “They first encountered a police officer who was off duty in plain clothes and upon the police officer saying to them “Police.” they turned the weapon at the police but did not fire. The police fired at them fearing for his life he did fire at them. They continued fleeing and little after that they encountered another police officer who was on duty and was dressed in BDU and this police officer came face to face with the two alleged gunmen and they fired shots at the police. The police returned fire and the two men continued to run. I can say the police officer’s uniform had bullet holes from the shooting but thankfully he was not injured.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: A few minutes later police found 18-year-old Jaylon Jones, in nearby bushes with gunshot wounds on his legs. Investigators believe Jones was the trigger man and say the homicide was sparked by an argument over a woman. James was a member of the BCG for the past four and a half years. His boss, Rear Admiral Elton Bennett says his presence will be missed. 

RADM Elton Bennett, BCG Commandant: “He would conduct routine operations out to sea. He was actually on shore leave when this incident occurred meaning he would have deployed for a three week duration out at sea and come back in and would be compensated for a few days off and that’s when the incident occurred during his shore leave. We are currently flying our flag at half mast and thi is a symbol of our respect for a member of the military service who has died. We will also be burying him with military honors.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: James recently played alongside members of the BLC gang in the Leadership Intervention Unit’s football tournament. On Facebook, the police’s public relations officer, Douglas Hyde, lamented James’ character stating “We lost one of the football stars to the senseless gun violence. CJ – Charles James, … one of the coolest youths…. every game he will not pass me without hailing me with respect. We shall dedicate all of this coming Sunday’s games to his loving memory.” But while he lived in a gang infested area James was no gang affiliated according to Commandant Elton Bennett.

RADM Elton Bennett, BCG Commandant: “We have had situations before where had to be disciplined. As it relates to any external reports of him being involved with any other figure or any other gangs in Belize City I’m not aware of. All I can give account of is his actions and behavior when on the job and I know he’s from southside of Belize City but no I’m not aware of any reports of any allegation of him being affiliated with any gangs.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: James’ mother is currently on her way back from the United States of America, and by all accounts she is devastated by her son’s killing. Police are now working to levy charges against his alleged killers, to ensure his family receives justice.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “It’s a sad state of affairs for us because a member of our security force has been killed and so as a police we are not putting the pieces together and make sure that we put forth a best possible case that we will be able to secure a conviction at the end of the day.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News.

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