Three dead in botched robbery
PANAMA. The streets of Panama are awash in blood again. This time the victims included an innocent passer by National Institute of Cul...
PANAMA. The streets of Panama are awash in blood again. This time the victims included an innocent passer by National Institute of Culture (INAC) director Anel Omar Rodríguez.
He waswas shot by a gang of robbers when he stumbled into the middle of an assault on a Brinks armored vehicle.
The incident happened at 7:35 a.m. yesterday near the National Lottery building, on Avenida Peru and only a block away from the immigration offices where foreigners were lining up. Rodriguez got out of his car and was walking to collect a colleague close by, when four men and one women jumped out of a black Mitsubishi Nativa SUV and attacked a Brink armored vehicle that was carrying money from the Lottery.
The robbers started to shoot indiscriminately trying to subdue the guards protecting the vehicle fired back, then tragedy struck, Rodriguez was fatally wounded in the cross fire.
Samuel Monroy, a security guard was also killed as well as one of the unidentified assailants. Two robbers were injured. The rest of the gang fled the scene empty handed. The Nativa was later found abandoned in front of the Euro hotel in Perejil.
One of the wounded criminals was taken to the San Miguel Arcangel hospital, where some of the gang members attempted to rescue him, but they were unsuccessful. The second was taken to the Santo Tomas hospital.
The area around the Lotttery building was quickly sealed offand the investigations started. Government officials and politicians started to arrived at the scene of the crime asking for answers, while a group of onlookers shouted slogans demanding more security on the streets.
President Martin Torrijos looking visible shocked and crying said: “we share the pain with Rodriguez family and the rest of the Panamanian families that have lost loved ones in incidents of violence.”
He added that the government maintains its first commitment to fighting delinquency and keep this tragedy in mind to avoid similar incidents occurring in the future.
The presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party PRD Balbina Herrera said that there is no doubt that foreign criminal elements are invading the country and it is imperative that immigration measures should be strengthened and Colombians and Mexicans must have visas to enter Panama. “We must stop the spiral of violence before it is too late,”
Rodriguez was 47 years old, and left behind a wife and four children.