Cops shoot call center agent

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Rondane Swazo, 22, was shot in the chest during an alleged fight with a police officer after trying to sell several items that were allegedly stolen, and he is expected to be charged with receiving stolen goods.

by Charles Gladen

BELIZE CITY, Fri September 9, 2022

Just before 8.30pm on Thursday September 8, a call center agent, Rondane Swazo, 22, was shot in the chest by a police officer during what police claim was a scuffle in which Swazo attempted to take control of a policeman. an officer’s gun after two officers tried to arrest him on Euphrates Avenue for trying to sell them stolen goods.

According to initial police reports, the owner of the allegedly stolen goods informed officers that he had seen his items promoted on social media for sale, and got help from PC Zani Savala and PC Cory Cleland , who posed as people wanting to buy the items.

These officers then met Swazo in the East Collet Canal area, where he allegedly sold the stolen items. Officers say, however, that when they attempted to arrest Swaso for the stolen property, he resisted arrest and then attempted to flee. Officers said they followed him to a brushy abandoned lot on Euphrates Avenue next to a basketball court in the area.

They claim that at this time, when PC Savala called for reinforcements, Swazo emerged from some bushes, where he had apparently been hiding, and attempted to take away Savala’s gun, which caused him to explode, and the bullet that was fired hit Swazo in the chest.

However, Swazo’s girlfriend and relatives find 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 goes from work to home – everyone knows, his manager, his supervisor, his co-workers, his friends. He’s not affiliated with gangs. Like what I I said, it’s not a gang-affiliated situation. It might just be that the police want points,” she told a local reporter.

She went on to claim, “Literally 5 minutes he left his house, then we heard gunshots, then everyone ran in there and they said your boyfriend got shot . So when I arrived they already took the body, so the lady that was there came to talk to me and said ‘Honey, you know they left your boyfriend right there’, and say if she didn’t go there to see that guy still breathing, they would have left him there to die.

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

ComPol further said an internal investigation was underway to determine whether officers involved in the incident complied with Belize Police Department policy regarding the pursuit of a suspect.

“The officer cannot be expected to have waited for the young man to remove his weapon before doing anything. I have seen some of the comments on social media, and it seems to me that some people would prefer to see the young man take the gun from the police and kill the police, rather than the police reacting like he did.When we have these shootings, it’s always unfortunate, but at the end of the day, the police are there to do a duty and in doing so they also have the right to protect themselves and the general public,” Commissioner Williams said.

Swazo is expected to be charged for handling stolen property.

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