An elderly man is recovering from a gunshot to the leg, and the Belize Police Department is once again under public scrutiny. Sixty-seven-year-old Lionel Llewellyn Arnold Sr. was shot, allegedly, by police officers during a search at a residence on Lakeview Street, Belize City on Friday afternoon. Police reports indicate that during the search, the victim’s son got into a physical altercation with one of the officers. Tension grew quickly, and within minutes a gunshot was fired, injuring the father. According to Senior Superintendent of Police and Commander of Professional Standards Branch, Dwayne Sutherland an internal investigation has been launched.
Dwayne Sutherland, Commander of Professional Standards Branch: ““During the process of the search a struggle ensued between the gentleman that they were searching who was learnt to be Leonel Arnold Jr. Eventually his father who is Leonel Arnold Sr. came and he also intervened. During the struggle a single shot was fired by one of the officers which injured Mr. Lionel Arnold Sr. in the right thigh. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. As far as I’m concerned he’s in a stable condition. This investigation is in its premiering stage and so what I can tell you is that when the investigation is concluded if it is that there’s evidence to charge the officer he will be held accountable. We are still investigating the matter, we are yet to get a formal statement from both Mr. Lionel Arnold Jr and Sr and at the end of the conclusion of our investigation we will then decide how we’ll proceed with the matter based on the evidence that we gather.”
While the Police are sticking to their story, the victim’s daughter spoke to Love News saying that there is more to the story than what the Police are saying.
Daughter of Victim: “Apparently the police guys came inside and asked my son for a search. My son said “What will you search me for when I’m in my yard. I’m not doing anything.” Then after that the police officer told him that he was resisting arrest. “How will I be resisting arrest when I don’t even know what I am going to the station to get charged for ?” that is why my son told him so it looks like that got to his head and he walked behind my son. My brother was going up stairs and he turned back when my brother heard that he would take my son to the station to get charged. So he hauled my brother’s hand and my brother pulled his hand away from him and when he came downstairs my father was already downstairs by the step standing and he actually went to my brother, punched him in his face. My brother told him “You see you punched me in my face for nothing. Come in my yard to come punch me in my face for nothing just because I said my nephew is not going to any station.” He grabbed my brother in a chokehold after he had already punched him two times and my brother apparently danced his way out of the chokehold and he grabbed my brother, tore my brother’s shirt, scratched him and then my brother apparently punched him and the punch that he got my cycle was there and like the cycle made him stagger a little and as he recovered and got on his feet properly he just pulled out his – well before that apparently my nephew said he already had the gun in his hand so he just fired shots into my father’s direction hitting him on the upper thigh burst through his main artery. I apparently to the doctor they say if it was the different direction maybe he would have been a dead man, maybe he would not have had his foot because it would have broken up his bones and he would have had to cut off his foot.”
Arnold’s family also noted that they have obtained legal representation and are currently in the process of seeking legal action against the Police Department.