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PRPD: Massacre At Río Piedras Housing Project Leaves Six Dead In Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — At least six people were killed during a massacre at a public housing project in Puerto Rico on Monday night.

Videos recorded by residents captured the terrifying moment a group of armed men stormed the Ernesto Ramos Pianini residential complex in Río Piedras at 6:45 p.m.

One victim, identified as Alexis Padilla Rodríguez, 21, was part of the gang that carried out the attack. He was declared dead at a local hospital Tuesday morning.

One video revealed screaming and crying tenants fleeing scene where several of the victims were left lying on the pavement.

San Juan Police Commissioner Henry Escalera said in a radio interview that the shooting occurred at a building that served as a drug dealing spot.

“Part of the investigation [is centered around] whether it was a disagreement or a battle for drug [turf] control,” Escalera said.

The suspects arrived in a vehicle and started firing on their targets, according to reports. 

Responding police officers found three bodies near building no. 29 – a known drugs den. 

Cops recovered more than 1,000 ammunition shells from the scene. As of Tuesday morning officials were still combing the area. 

One of the victims was identified as Ángel Henríquez Agosto, 21, who was wanted for his role in a Three King’s Day shooting outside a nightclub in Isla Verde which left two people dead in January.

Among the dead listed were Ermes Omar Sanjurjo y Jordan Junior Castillo Cordero, both 25; and Emmanuel Enrique Báez Padilla, 43.

FOUND DEAD: Kathia Matos Sandoval, 26.

Kathia Matos Sandoval, 26, also died in the shooting. Her body was recovered near a basketball court in the housing project.

The police chief said her husband, Edgar Joel Cruz Ocasio, had been assassinated at the same housing complex on September 11. Matos Sandoval had a prior criminal record, which included a home invasion charge in 2014.

Lieutenant Jose Cruz, director for the San Juan Homicide Division Criminal Investigation Center, told El Nuevo Dia that the September shooting could be directly related to Monday night’s assault. 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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