A man shot the mayor of a Dominican Republican municipality in his office on Tuesday for unknown motives, officials said. East Santo Domingo Mayor Juan de los Santos, 45, did not survive the shooting. The suspect, Luis Feliz, allegedly worked for the mayor by repairing air conditioners and had been waiting for him at his office when he arrived for work.
De los Santos had been in a meeting when Feliz shot him in the head and chest. Feliz also fatally shot a security agent, Archi de Jesús Medina, before turning the gun on himself, according to Dominican press.
De los Santos was known as “Juancito Sport,” after his sports betting business, a famous franchise in the Dominican Republic. He was a member of Congress until 2006, when he was elected mayor of East Santo Domingo. He won a second six-year term in 2010 and was a member of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party. He received his master's degree in urban development from the University of Salamanca in Spain. Below is a picture of him voting in local elections:
— Juan de los Santos (@juandelossanto) December 13, 2015
De los Santos was married with five kids. Before he was killed on Tuesday, he had spent time with his family at a school Christmas event and posted on social media how proud he was of his children. He wrote on Twitter: "Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do."
Buenos días! "Siempre sueña y apunta más alto de lo que sabes que puedes lograr." -William Faulkner-
— Juan de los Santos (@juandelossanto) December 15, 2015
The president of the Dominican Municipal League, Johnny Jones, called the shooting "a national tragedy" that claimed "a young man" who did his job.
Crime in the Dominican Republic has been on the decline amid an ongoing campaign by the National Police. The homicide rate dropped to an 11-year low in 2013 to 1,975, compared with 2,258 in 2012, according to statistics supplied to Reuters by the attorney general's office.