12 high-calibre bullets killed Haiti President Jovenel Moïse
Twelve (12) bullets were fired at Haiti President Jovenel Moïse, killing him on the spot on Wednesday, July 7, a local Judiciary official said on Thursday.
The bullets were high-calibre fired by experienced shooters, Carl Henry Destin, the Pétion-Ville deputy chief judge, said.
“We found 12 holes in the President’s body,” Destin told Haiti’s largest newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, saying they were “made with a large-calibre weapon.”
“The President’s office and bedroom were ransacked. We found him lying on his back, blue pants, a white shirt smeared with blood, his mouth open, his left eye blown out,” the judge told the French-language outlet.
“We saw a bullet impact at the level of his forehead, one in each nipple, three at the hip, one in the abdomen,” Destin added.
Only the President, 53, and his wife, Martine Moïse, were shot in the attack despite a contingent of Haitian National Police officers manning the leader’s private residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
The First Lady, Martine, was flown to Miami, Florida for emergency medical attention. She is expected to survive, US media reported.
Jomarlie Jovenel Moïse, the first family’s daughter, was at home during the attack, but hid from the assassins in her brother’s bedroom, Destin said.
Her brother, who was not identified, was tied up alongside a maid, the judge said.
Police recovered “many 5.56- and 7.62-mm cartridge cases” between the gatehouse and the interior of the residence.
The raid was partially caught on tape, Destin stated.
Haiti’s National Police late Wednesday said they had killed four of the suspected assailants and arrested two others.
“We are chasing them so that either in the exchange of fire they will be killed or we will apprehend them,” Police chief Leon Charles said. “We will continue to hunt them down.”
Haiti’s Ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, said the killers were “professional” mercenaries disguised as US Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
Authorities on Thursday said the heavily armed commando unit that assassinated Moise comprised 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans, Reuters reported.
Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano said initial findings indicated that Colombians suspected of taking part in the assassination were retired members of his country's armed forces, and pledged to support the investigations in Haiti.
Police tracked down the suspected assassins on Wednesday to a house near the scene of the crime in Petionville, a northern hillside suburb of Port-au-Prince.
A gunfire exchange lasted into the night and authorities detained a number of suspects on Thursday.
Police boss Leon Charles paraded 17 men before journalists at a news conference late Thursday, showing a number of Colombian passports, plus assault rifles, machetes, walkie-talkies and materials including bolt cutters and hammers.
"Foreigners came to our country to kill the President," Charles said, noting there were 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans.
He revealed that 15 of the Colombians were captured, as were the Haitian Americans. Three of the assailants were killed and eight were still on the run, Charles said.
Haiti has announced a two-week mourning period following the death of its leader, who had triggered protests after extending his term by a couple of months. Foreign media report that Moise was to leave office in February.
The country’s Parliament was dissolved late last year.