Details are still sketchy tonight but CTV3 News understands that late Sunday there was a gun-fire free for all in the village of Louisville in the Corozal District, and by all reports the culprits of what residents call a frightening ordeal are no other than members of the Customs Department. We have been told that officers began chasing a vehicle loaded with contraband goods from the back area of the village. When the driver of the vehicle refused to stop, the chase continued all through the village with shots being fired at the vehicle by members of the Customs Department.
Residents who spoke to us off camera told CTV3 News today that at least 25 shots were fired at the vehicle. The driver, however, refused to stop and drove right through the school compound with the Customs vehicle on its tail.
The vehicle along with its driver was finally stopped as it tried to make its way onto the Northern Highway. When we spoke to residents this afternoon they told us that while they understand that members of the Customs Department were just doing their job they believe that the firing of shots within the village were totally unnecessary since someone could have been hit by a stray bullet.
When we contacted the Customs Department this afternoon for comment we were told that no one was available to take our call. Calls to other departments in the north also got no response. When we contacted the Corozal Police Department we were told they were informed about the shooting but it was a Customs matter since the persons shot at had not made an official complaint to the Police.
Late this evening, CTV-3 received credible reports that the vehicle which was being chased, a black Ford Ranger, finally stopped after it crashed into a lamp-post in the village of San Narciso. Inside Customs personnel found four minors, since the driver managed to flee the scene. We have also been told that no contraband of note was found inside the vehicle and that, although several eyewitnesses we spoke to stated a lot of shots were fired, the Customs Department is sticking to their story that they fired only one shot at the tire of the pickup.
At news time tonight, we have been told that one person of interest is being sought for questioning in the matter, and the four minors have been released into the custody of their parents.