Six year old shot by nine year old neighbor

A Valley Community, Stann Creek District boy, only six years old, spent the entire Labour Day weekend fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City after his close friend unexpectedly turned a 16-gauge shotgun on him.Travis Polanco is on life support, in critical condition after multiple surgeries to remove the pellets scattered throughout his brain stem. The injuries were from a single shot fired by a 9 year old, reportedly from inside his residence, 35 feet away. It happened around 4:50 in the evening of Thursday, April 30, and Travis’ mother, Gurly Bahadur told reporters on Friday that she believes it is deliberate.

 

Gurly Bahadur – Mother of Shooting Victimvlcsnap-2015-05-05-13h26m10s229

“My son  was playing at the road side at the moment when the gun shot went off. When the gun shot went off and I ran outside, I started to look from where the gun shot came from but I didn’t see where the gun shot come from. When I ker my baby to the hospital, afterwards I got  to know that it was neighbor. He was inside the house with the gun.

Reporter

What sort of gun?”

Gurly Bahadur

“16- gauge. “

Reporter

“Would you say it was accidental, intential…?”

Gurly Bahadur

“To me, it was intentional. He is inside and my baby was way at the road side at the lamppost.”

 Reporter

“Who did it?’

Gurly Bahadur

“The neighbor.”

Reporter

“What age?”

Gurly Bahadur

“Nine.”

Reporter

“Would you logically think that a nine year old can aim that hard with a shotgun?”

Gurly Bahadur

“Well he goes hunting with his father. I guess his father show hm how to hold a gun, how to aim at a person or what. The way I see it, I say for that age of boy pointing that distance, he most have practiced aiming the correct way to hit my son.”

None of the 9 year old’s family was at home – his mother was out shopping for groceries in Dangriga after leaving work and heard about the incident on her way back while the father was at work. It is alleged that the boy was taken out and taught to hunt by his father, but he had not been known to play with the gun before. So then why would he turn the weapon on his friend? The answer may lie in a series of events that happened shortly before the shot was fired, as explained by Travis’ father, Thomas Polanco.

Thomas Polanco – Father of Shooting Victimvlcsnap-2015-05-05-13h16m44s206

“I don’t know because they were outside playing, two of them. They were playing under a palm tree. They were playing with a birds nest. The little boy told him that the bird needs to live too. Then he gone inside  and haul his gun. I think he halla at my son because my son spin around to run and he shot him. “

Reporter

So there is a possibility that there may have been a quarrel?”

 Thomas Polanco

“I don’t call that quarrel because my son was way out close to the road side. Not in the yard.”

Reporter

“Who was the one that said the bird needs to live””

Thomas Polanco

“The nine year old.”

Reporter

“Why would he have said that?”

Thomas Polanco

“I don’t know, he just tell him that. He went inside, open the window, aim and shoot.”

Thomas Polanco did not see the actual shooting, only its aftermath. The family did not make it to Belize City until 10:30 in the night after various vehicle problems delayed getting to Dangriga’s Southern Regional Hospital and then the Western Regional in Belmopan. Travis has since undergone several surgeries to remove pellets that struck parts of his brain and family members have now turned to the public for assistance to cover medical expenses they have been incurring. If anyone would like to donate to the cause, they can contact family members at 666-7122 or at 625-8178. Police continue their investigations into the incident.Incidentally, in regards to any possible charges, under Belize’s laws – Section 25 of the Criminal Code, as amended by statutory instrument no. 36 of 1999, no crime is committed by any person under nine years of age. In the case of this accused child, he is covered by subsection 2 of section 25 of the Criminal Code, which states that “nothing is a crime which is done by a person of nine years and less than 12 years of age who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct in the matter in respect of which he is accused.”

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