Puerto Rico policeman fatally shoots 3 officers after argument

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico policeman fatally shot two high-ranking officers and a policewoman on Monday following an argument and hostage taking at work that temporarily shut down the station in the U.S.

See Full Article

territory's second largest city, authorities said. The suspect was immediately placed under arrest.

The suspect, Guarionex Candelario Rivera, held a female lieutenant, a male commander and a policewoman hostage in an office before he killed them, police spokeswoman Mayra Ayala told The Associated Press. She said authorities were about to start negotiations with the 50-year-old suspect when the victims were killed. She said police did not yet have information on a motive.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla told reporters that the suspect was injured during the shooting and remains hospitalized. Garcia declined to say what kind of injuries the officer received and how they were inflicted.

"This took us completely by surprise," Col. Hector Agosto said in a quiet voice at a press conference while still wearing a shirt stained with blood, explaining that he tried to help the victims. "We are a family. I am trying to stay strong."

"This is a very tragic situation that appalls us all especially because it occurred during the holidays," said police spokesman Axel Valencia.

The shooting occurred inside the lieutenant's office at the police headquarters in the southern coastal city of Ponce. Authorities evacuated the station to investigate threats of a possible explosive device at the station, but they did not say whether anything was found.

Police said at a press conference that the suspect previously had been stripped of his weapon but received a psychological evaluation nearly two years ago and his weapon was returned. Authorities declined to provide any other details, saying the investigation was barely starting. Candelario had been with the department for 19 years.

"Ponce is in mourning," Mayor Maria Melendez said in a statement. "May God give the family members of the police officers involved the strength, fortitude and serenity to absorb this news."

Ayala said the suspect worked in the anti-drug division. Officials said the victims were Lt. Luz Soto Segarra and Cmdr. Frank Roman Rodriguez, both 49, and 42-year-old policewoman Rosario Hernandez De Hoyos. Soto had been with the department 23 years, Roman 28 years and Hernandez 15 years.

Soto's husband also was a police lieutenant, said Jose Cruz Martinez, vice-president of the Puerto Rican Police Union, adding that Soto and Roman had been his friends for 15 years.

"They were both excellent people," Cruz said in a phone interview. "They were always supportive of their co-workers."

Cruz said he and his wife would occasionally go on motorcycle road trips with Soto and her husband, who lived in the nearby town of Yauco. He said Roman was originally from the western town of Mayaguez.

"He rarely had any time off," Cruz said of Roman.

Valencia said Roman was named Commander of the Year for Ponce in 2014.

Walter Torres, mayor of the nearby southern town of Penuelas, told El Nuevo Dia newspaper that he knew the suspect well.

"People here are incredulous to learn it was him," Torres was quoted as saying. "He is very religious, one of those people who would visit those who are sick; a quiet person, a homebody."

It is the largest shooting of its kind in the island's history. The last shooting at a Puerto Rico police station occurred in September 2007, when a police sergeant in the southeast town of Yabucoa killed his supervisor after an argument about work scheduling.

Puerto Rico's police force is one of the largest in a U.S. jurisdiction. The troubled department is undergoing a 10-year federally mandated reform after U.S. prosecutors accused officers of illegal killings, corruption and civil rights violations.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iranian plane crash kills all 66 on board

    World News CBC News
    An Iranian commercial aircraft carrying 66 people crashed on Sunday in the southern part of the country, with a spokesperson for the airline confirming to state television that all were killed as a result. The ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down near the remote mountain town of Semirom, some 620 kilometres south of the capital, Tehran. Source
  • Trump takes umbrage at his national security adviser's Russian interference comments

    World News CBC News
    President Donald Trump could not let his national security adviser's comments earlier Saturday in front of an international security conference about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election go unaddressed. Gen. H.R. McMaster told an audience at the Munich Security Conference that the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 American election was beyond dispute. Source
  • Russia, U.S. tight-lipped about deadly Syria episode involving their forces

    World News CBC News
    The United States is still unsure who directed a Feb. 7 attack on U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in Syria, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday, even as he acknowledged accounts that Russian civilian contractors were involved. Source
  • Kosovo marks progress, if not universal recognition, on 10th anniversary

    World News CBC News
    Kosovo is celebrating 10 years of independence from Serbia in two-day festivities that started Saturday amid reminders of the obstacles to the country's full acceptance. President Hashim Thaci said during a panel at the Munich Security Conference that his country's decade-long history was "a story of success," but he lamented the European Union's lack of unity over Kosovo's status as a membership candidate. Source
  • Air Canada Express plane returns to Saskatoon due to flames near tail pipe

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON - An Air Canada Express plane had to return to Saskatoon shortly after takeoff when flames were reported to be coming from it. Airline spokesperson Teri Udle says in an email that Flight 8585, a Dash 8 Q400 operated by Jazz, was on its way to Calgary on Saturday when flames were noticed near the left tail pipe. Source
  • 'I will not just shut up and dribble': LeBron James won't be silent on social issues

    World News CBC News
    LeBron James says he will not stick to sports. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar reiterated his determination to speak out on social issues and the nation's political climate Saturday during his media availability for the NBA All-Star Game. Source
  • Trump focuses on first responders after Florida shooting

    World News CTV News
    POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump has made a grim trip to a Florida community reeling from a deadly school shooting, meeting privately with victims and cheering the heroics of first responders. But he extended few public words of consolation to those in deep mourning, nor did Trump address the debate over gun violence that has raged since a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 and injured 14 others. Source
  • 'The pilot called mayday': Tailpipe flames force plane to return to Saskatoon airport

    Canada News CBC News
    A fire on an Air Canada Express plane forced an emergency landing at the Saskatoon airport on Saturday. Teri Udle of Jazz Aviation said in a statement that shortly after takeoff from Saskatoon at about 11:20 a.m. Source
  • Indian migrant workers file complaint over temple work with Ontario government

    Canada News CBC News
    Two migrant workers from India who say they faced harsh living conditions and were drastically underpaid as sculptors at a Hindu religious charity organization in Toronto are seeking thousands of dollars in unpaid wages from the Carnforth Road-based temple. Source
  • Israel slams Polish PM for WWII 'Jewish perpetrators' remark

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israeli politicians accused Poland's prime minister of anti-Semitism Saturday for equating the Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to its supposed "Jewish perpetrators," setting off a new chapter in an angry dispute over Poland's new bill criminalizing the mention of Polish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide. Source