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

  • Spain rescues 569 migrants as EU discusses influx

    World News CBC News
    Spanish authorities have released video of some of the 569 migrants they rescued after they crossed the Mediterranean in 25 leaky dinghies and a canoe. The migrants, thought to be mainly from North Africa, were found Friday night and into Saturday morning, Spain's Maritime Rescue Service said. Source
  • A dozen Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Mali as yearlong mission begins

    Canada News CTV News
    GAO, Mali -- About a dozen Canadian troops landed at a UN base in Mali this morning, marking the official start of a yearlong mission to the West African nation and a new era in Canada's long history of peacekeeping. Source
  • UK euroskeptics urge PM May to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Pro-Brexit politicians and business figures have urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to be ready to walk away from the European Union without a trade agreement, despite warnings from major manufacturers that a "no deal" Brexit would be an economic disaster. Source
  • 5 taken to hospital for overdoses at Escapade Music Festival in Ottawa

    Canada News CBC News
    Five people were taken to hospital to be treated for overdoses on Saturday during the Escapade Music Festival in Ottawa. Paramedics say one person is in critical and another is in serious condition because of overdoses involving GHB, a common street drug, which has the potential to be fatal. Source
  • Toronto Pride Parade to kick off amid tensions between LGBTQ community, police

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Swaths of Toronto will burst with colour today as LGBTQ revellers hit the streets for the Pride Parade against a backdrop of tensions between the community and the city's police force. More than 120 groups will march along the downtown route in this year's parade -- but uniformed officers won't be among them. Source
  • Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled in derailment: BNSF

    World News CTV News
    DOON, Iowa -- An estimated 230,000 gallons (870,619 litres) of crude oil spilled into floodwaters in the northwestern corner of Iowa following a train derailment, a railroad official said Saturday. BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said 14 of 32 oil tanker cars just south of Doon in Lyon County leaked oil into surrounding floodwaters from the swollen Little Rock River. Source
  • Quebec ticket claims Saturday night's $7 million Lotto 649 jackpot

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The $7 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw was claimed by a ticket holder in Quebec, while the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on June 27 will be approximately $5 million. Source
  • 25 injured in building explosion in Germany: police

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Twenty-five people were injured, four of them severely, when an explosion destroyed an apartment building in the western German city of Wuppertal, police said Sunday. Police said the explosion rocked the several-story building shortly before midnight Saturday with a large bang, scaring people in surrounding homes so much they ran out into the street in a panic. Source
  • Trump Administration says it knows location of all children

    World News CTV News
    Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them. A fact sheet on "zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification" released Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. Source
  • Explosion destroys building in Wuppertal, Germany, injuring 25

    World News CBC News
    Twenty-five people were injured, four of them severely, when an explosion destroyed an apartment building in the western German city of Wuppertal, police said Sunday. Police said the explosion rocked the multi-storey building shortly before midnight Saturday with a large bang, scaring people in surrounding homes so much they ran out into the street in a panic. Source