Police Officer charged with “Manslaughter” in shooting of Mario Vernon

The police officer who shot and killed Mario Vernon on Saturday January 13th has been charged. According to police, today, January 16, 2018, they charged 23 year old PC  Tevin Aranda for “Manslaughter” . Police say the charge of “ manslaughter“ as opposed to “murder” is on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution. Vernon was shot and killed in Punta Gorda Town. Police say that PC Aranda’s account of the incident is that a report had reached police about Vernon being spotted with a weapon. PC Aranda was on mobile patrol at the time when he saw Vernon and accosted him. However, Vernon allegedly ran while pointing a gun at the officer. The officer, fearing he would be shot, fired and hit Vernon in the head.  A gun was indeed retrieved from the scene, according to police. However, residents, friends, and family members dispute the police’s account and say that the police officer was searching for Vernon and when he found Vernon, shouted “freeze”. They allege that Vernon did “freeze” and put both hands in the air, at which time the officer shot Vernon in the head.  Aranda was arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court today where he was offered bail of ten thousand dollars. He is to return to court on April 16, 2018. Mario Vernon has been the second person shot in the head by a police officer in less than a month. Fahreed Ahmad was shot in the head on December 28th, 2017 by WPC Michelle Brown.  In her case, she has been charged with murder.

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