(CMR) The Dominican Republic's Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Orlando Jorge Mera (55), was shot and killed in his office on Monday by a close friend, the president's office said in a statement.
Mera, the son of a former president, was shot by Miguel Cruz, who has been detained. No motive for the killing was revealed.
“We express our deepest condolences,” the office of President Luis Abinader said.
According to ABC News, Jorge Mera comes from a powerful political family. He is the son of former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco, and his sister is a vice minister in Abinader's administration.
The family issued a statement saying that Cruz had been Jorge's friend since childhood and that Jorge was shot multiple times.
“Our family forgives the person who did this. One of Orlando's greatest legacies was to not hold grudges,” it said.
Police and emergency officials swarmed the office of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry in the capital of Santo Domingo and barred entry to it as mourners gathered nearby. Jorge's office is located on the fourth floor of a building that also houses the Ministry of Tourism.
“We are troubled by the situation,” Jorge's ministry said in a brief statement.
Bartolomé Pujals, executive director of the government's Cabinet of Innovation, said, “His death is a tragedy. We Dominicans have to come together to achieve a pact for peace and peaceful coexistence. No more violence.”