One man is killed in a morning shootout between the Belize Coast Guard officials and civilians. Authorities report that the incident took place between 10:30 and 10:45 this morning 21 and a half miles north of San Pedro Town. The six Coast Guards were on a joint special operation on foot and were patrolling the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve beach when they came under gun fire. Reports are that the officials returned fire and wounded one of the three men that shot at them. The men it is believed are beach combers. Authorities believe that a second man may have been injured but managed to flee the scene along with the other. The man that was killed was shot to both his hands and once in the chest and police have not released any identity on the individual who is described only and a Creole male. Authorities also recovered a pump action shot gun with six live rounds about ten feet from the body. At a distance police found a bag containing seven more 12 gauge cartridges. Police combed the scene of the shooting and have launched two investigations – a criminal investigation and an internal investigation since law enforcement officers were involved. As part of the investigations, police have seized six firearms and have cautioned the Coast Guard Officers. Police have also gathered statements from all involved. Police say they suspect the men are beach combers, also referred to as “playadores” who search the beach for parcels of cocaine that wash up from wet-drops. Authorities say the northern part of Ambergis Caye is a known hot spot for such activity.
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