An already struggling and chaotic Haiti stumbled into an uncertain future Thursday after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, followed by a gunfight in which authorities said police killed seven suspects, detained six others and freed three officers being held hostage.
Officials pledged to find all those responsible for the pre-dawn raid on Moïse’s home early Wednesday in which the president was shot to death and his wife, Martine, critically wounded. She was flown to Miami for treatment.
“The pursuit of the mercenaries continues,” Léon Charles, director of Haiti’s National Police, said Wednesday night in announcing the arrest of suspects. “Their fate is fixed: They will fall in the fighting or will be arrested.”On Thursday, Charles told reporters that six suspects had been arrested and seven killed and that police were still looking for more.
Witnesses said two of the suspects were discovered hiding in bushes in Port-au-Prince on Thursday by a crowd, some of whom grabbed the men by their shirts and pants, pushing them and occasionally slapping them.
Police arrived shortly afterward to arrest the men, who were sweating heavily and wearing clothes that seemed to be smeared with mud, an Associated Press journalist at the scene said. Officers placed them in the back of a pickup truck and drove away as the crowd ran after them to the nearby police station.