An American minor was shot dead in the Dominican while on vacation with his family.
The tragic incident occurred on Wednesday in the vicinity of Cibao International Airport in the northern part of the country.
Officials have launched a full-scale investigation into the shocking murder, which has attracted widespread attention from within the Dominican Republic and abroad.
Murder Of Young American Shocks Dominican Republic
A young American boy, aged 9, was shot dead on Wednesday by armed robbers shortly after arriving in the Dominican Republic with his father.
The victims were ambushed by a gang of criminals close to the airport, where they had rented a car. The altercation took place when 6 suspects opened fire on the American travelers, who refused to pull over, apparently fearing a possible robbery.
One of the victims, Gioser Luís Feliz, was fatally wounded after being shot in the head by the gang as the violence unfolded.
After sustaining injuries, the young boy was rushed to a local hospital, and despite efforts to resuscitate the 9-year-old, doctors pronounced the victim died shortly after.
It remains unclear if the boy was deliberately targeted or if he was shot at random.
The criminal gang fled the scene after opening fire on the victim’s vehicle but has since then been arrested and placed in custody.
Police have detained 6 suspects in connection to Wednesday’s gruesome incident, some of whom are believed to have close ties to the victim’s father.
The U.S. nationals of Dominican descent had just arrived on the island nation to visit distant relatives. According to local media reports, it is believed that one of the perpetrators was an acquaintance of the boy’s father and was aware of their whereabouts and travel plans.
Authorities have launched a detailed investigation into the brutal incident, which has shocked not only the Dominican Republic but also the victim’s home city of New York.
The murder of the young boy has attracted widespread media attention in the United States, potentially affecting the Dominican Republic’s reputation as a safe destination for travel.
The Dominican President, Luis Abinader, expressed his shock and dismay over the incident on Twitter, calling for the victims to be prosecuted by the courts.
Meanwhile, police and other law enforcement agencies are working hand in hand to uncover the circumstances surrounding the murder.
Despite being one of the safer Caribbean destinations, in rare cases, violent crime can affect travelers. Wednesday’s incident goes to show that sometimes, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have deadly consequences.
Cibao International Airport has attracted negative headlines in several instances due to criminal activity. Last year, an American family was robbed of their valuables after armed robbers, pretending to be police, forced the victims to hand over their belongings.
It is likely officials will respond to Wednesday’s shocking incident by ramping up security efforts around Cibao International Airport to prevent similar accidents from occurring again.
The Dominican Republic is currently under a Level 2 travel advisory as per the U.S. Department of State, meaning travelers are urged to exercise increased precaution.
While generally safe, petty crime and theft remain significant issues in many parts of the Dominican Republic. Travelers can follow some essential safety tips to prevent becoming a victim of crimes or scams.
Resort destinations like Punta Cana, La Romana, and Puerto Plata are some of the safest locations for travelers, thanks to the visible presence of law enforcement and special tourist police.
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