Two police officers were shot in the middle of an intervention with some criminals, presumably, linked to an attempted murder in Toa Baja.
The director of the Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC) of Bayamon, Edwin Figueroa Maldonadoexplained to The new day that the agents responded to an alert of an attempted murder on PR-2, in front of the Walgreens pharmacy, and moments later found the suspects on PR-165, where an exchange of gunfire ensued.
At the beginning of these events, the Police reported that the intervention occurred after a suspicious death, but according to the preliminary information, they clarified that the person attacked by gunshots resulted only in a gunshot wound and is in the Río Piedras Medical Center. .
The Assistant Commissioner for Criminal Investigations, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rivera-Mirandadetailed that the attempted murder occurred in the area of Colinas on PR-2, in the jurisdiction of the aforementioned town, and that it could have been the sixth massacre of the year.
“There (near the Walgreens) a white Hyundai Tucson is shot at, where a man is injured and two people manage to flee. We had drug and arrest intelligence personnel who were going to fill out an arrest warrant in Campanillas, but when they heard what was happening in Colinas, they gave up doing that work and went to highway 165, because the information was that the Toyota had a route to highway 165″, the officer specified.
“Passing the entrance to the Candelaria neighborhood, the boys observe the vehicle, turn around, turn on a screen and siren, they stop it and what they (the criminals) do is shoot at their comrades. They repel the aggression and in this situation two comrades are injured who, at the moment, thank God, are stable”added the officer.
One of the agents was injured in the shoulder, while the other was hit by a bullet in the arm. Subsequently, the Police Commissioner, Antonio Lopez Figueroareported that one of the agents was transported to a hospital in Dorado, while the other was taken to a hospital in Bayamón.
Both officers were visited by the Police Commissioner and the Secretary of Public Security, Alexis Torres.
Torres pointed out that one of the wounded agents, Alfredo Gonzalezwas in good spirits and even suggested that “let’s go to the street again”.
Leaving the hospital in Dorado, González said: “We are fine, thank God.”
Later he will undergo surgery to remove the bullet fragments in his left arm. His wife, whose name was not released, was happy to see him out in stable condition.
“Thank God, that’s all,” said the woman, before leaving in uniformed patrols.
The other agent was identified as Carlos Cotto Marrero. Both are officers of the Intelligence Division of the Bayamón area.
For his part, Rivera Miranda indicated that there were three criminals and that, after the exchange of fire, they entered a wooded area. Two of them were arrested and a third is still under the search of the authorities.
“We are on it (looking for the third suspect) and that is why we have deployed a number of agents in the neighborhoods of Campanilla, Candelaria, Ingenio, because everything that is that lot… We have the area practically fenced off, but we have not been able to with that individual,” Rivera Miranda said.
To search for the three individuals, it was necessary to activate multiple units of the Police Bureau, as well as the “Papa Delta”, the search and rescue helicopter of the United Forces of Rapid Action (FURA).
The two arrested were identified as Jexziel Rivera Pirela, 25, and Jean Castro Pérez, 29.
While, the bullet wounded man who arrived at the Medical Center is 20 years oldaccording to the Press Office of the Police Headquarters in Bayamón.
The lieutenant colonel added that a video that circulated on social networks shows the moment in which criminals attack a Hyundai Tucson, which was driven by the 20-year-old who was shot. In addition, two other people were traveling as passengers, but after the shots they ran out of the vehicle.
At the moment, there are no details of the two people who fled nor the reason for this shooting attack.
However, the Police Commissioner said that they presume that it is related to the war between sides linked to drug trafficking. López Figueroa said that the detainees “had been intervened for drug trafficking. One has federal probation.”
“We are working with the federal agencies, for any link they have, so that they let us know with the kind of individual we are working with,” López Figueroa told reporters. The new day.
Rivera Pirela was charged at the federal level in 2018 for possession and distribution of controlled substances. He also had weapons charges, but they were dismissed upon reaching a plea deal.
In that case, according to the complaint from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Rivera Pirela was seen by undercover agents while he kept a firearm inside a car in the Morales neighborhood. from Caguas. Being intervened, he tried to escape, but gave up when he was intercepted by a patrol. Officers at the time seized a Glock pistol, ammunition, drugs, a two-way radio and $345 in cash.
Rivera Pirela was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release, which had not yet been completed at the time of today’s incident.
Police were assisted in the search by US Marshals. Torres did not rule out that the assault on law enforcement officials could lead to federal indictment.
“We always maintain coordination with federal law enforcement officials. I can say that intelligence sharing is being listened to at all times and if it has to go to one forum or the other, whether it is at the state or federal level,” said the Secretary of Public Security.
Regarding the gunshot wound, it is unknown if he has a criminal record.
“We are seeing that these boys who are outside the law have seen in the past three days that there is no longer respect for anyone, not for life and less for authority. Already as we could see the day before yesterday on Route 66 and what happened in the López Sicardo area and today we see how comrades who call the halt with hype and siren received a fight as a response. We could have lost two more companions,” said Rivera Miranda.
At the time of this publication, the Police were still reviewing all the bullet casings and details of the scene on PR-165, which will remain closed until further notice.
Rivera Miranda mentioned that some of the divisions participating in the operation are: the Arrest Division, the Drug Division, the Intelligence Division, the Stolen Vehicle Division, the Bayamón Criminal Investigation Corps, Municipal Police, FURA, US Marshalls, the Bureau of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).