Four suspects have been killed and two are in police custody following the assassination according to Al Jazeera News.
Haitian police were quick to react following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise early Wednesday, killing four suspects connected to the President’s plotted death. Two others have been captured and remain in police custody for the time being. In what was described as an “inhuman and barbaric act,” Moise was shot dead by unidentified attackers in his home overnight early Wednesday morning and his wife was also injured inn the shooting.
The suspects involved in the shooting were allegedly speaking Spanish, according to the Haitian Embassy of Canada’s press release following the shooting. The impoverished, crisis-affected Haiti had already been experiencing bouts of politically-charged chaos and violence over recent weeks as an emerging humanitarian crisis continues to threaten the nation. The assassination only pushed the country into further disarray.
According to Leon Charles, the Haitian Police General Director, the four suspects who were killed are described as “mercenaries,” and security forces for the president had engaged in an intense firefight with the president’s suspected killers as they attempted to leave his home following the attack.
“We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime,” Charles said in televised comments. “Since then, we have been battling with them. They will be killed or apprehended.”
Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, said the suspects were well-trained mercenaries that hid under the guise of US Drug Enforcement Administration agents when they entered the president’s guarded home. There is a DEA office at the Haitian capital that helps their government with counternarcotics programs. which reinforced the deception involved in the mercenaries’ attack.
Joseph Claude is serving as the interim prime minister for the country, and took on the majority of televised statements following the assassination. He said that the assassins were speaking both English and Spanish, while the majority languages spoken in Haiti are French or Haitian Creole. He urged for calmness amongst citizens as the government enforced a two-week state of emergency in search of the remaining assassins.
“I am calling for calm. Everything is under control,” Claude said. “This barbaric act will not remain unpunished.”