The suspect, Guarionex Candelario Rivera, was on duty when he
walked into Commander Frank Roman Rodriguez's office to speak with
him, but the senior officer was unable to do so immediately and the
situation escalated, Puerto Rico police spokesman Axel Valencia
Candelario Rivera eventually shot Roman Rodriguez, Lieutenant Luz
Soto Segarra and agent Rosario Hernandez de Hoyos, he added.
Further details were still being investigated.
The Washington Post quoted officials as saying Candelario Rivera
took the three fellow officers hostage, and that hostage negotiators
were talking with him when he shot them.
Valencia, however, said it was too early to say whether it had been
a hostage situation.
He said Candelario Rivera was shot twice, but it was unclear whether
he had been shot by one of those killed or another officer.
Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla ordered flags to be
flown at half-staff and declared three days of mourning for the
"This is a very sad day for the whole country," Garcia Padilla said
in a statement. "I'm asking all Puerto Ricans to stand together and
pray for the peace of these families."
Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia newspaper, citing the police press
office, said Candelario Rivera shot the three officers after
allegedly getting into an argument.
[to top of second column]
The newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said Candelario Rivera had
at some time in the past been stripped of his weapon due to
disciplinary and emotional problems and assigned to a job at police
headquarters in Ponce, on the south side of the island.
The newspaper said Candelario Rivera wanted to return to his former
job as a patrol officer, according to those sources.
(Reporting by Nick Brown; Writing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrew Hay;
Editing by Howard Goller, Jeffrey Benkoe and Bill Rigby)
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