Former Miss Venezuela and telenovela actress Monica Spear and her husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were shot dead Monday during an attempted robbery in Venezuela. Their 5-year-old daughter was treated for injuries and is in stable condition at a hospital.
According to NBC, 29-year-old Spear, 49-year-old Berry and their child had stopped on Puerto Cabello-Valencia Road after they got into a “small accident” late Monday. Police said robbers attacked the couple and their daughter, who were on vacation in Venezuela, in their car. The robbers opened fire on the family locked inside the grey 2002 Corolla Toyota, killing the parents and injuring the child.
Huffington Post reported that the family, who lived in Miami, were expected to return to the United States this week following their vacation.
Family friend Diego Sanchez said the crime has made him consider leaving Venezuela, where more than 70 people have already been killed in the first week of the year.
"To think there are people who can shoot a mother and father in front of their daughter is very sad and unbelievable," he told NBC. "And it’s shocking when it happens to someone you know."
Spear was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004 and competed in the Miss Universe 2005 pageant in Thailand, where she was fourth runner-up. She’s also starred in several Venezuelan telenovelas and U.S. soap operas including Telemundo’s “Flor Salvaje” in 2011 and, most recently, "Pasión Prohibida” in 2013.
According to the U.S. Department of State, crime in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, is "critical.” The country had more than 24,000 homicides last year, NBC reported.