Jewelry heist kills 6, injures 5 in Bolivia
Posted: 2017-Jul-15 11.09.17 UTC+0800
LA PAZ — A shootout between heavily armed robbers of a jewelry store and police in the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz left six people dead and another five injured on Thursday, the Bolivian news agency (ABI) said.
According to a preliminary police report, four assailants, some carrying machine guns, took several employees of the EuroChronos jewelry store hostage "to use them as human shields" as they were leaving with the robbed items.
In the ensuing shootout with police arriving at the scene, three of the assailants were killed, as was a police lieutenant. Another store employee was killed inside the premises, though the circumstances of her death are not yet clear.
The sixth fatal victim was the general manager of the jewelry store, Lorena Torrez, 30, who died later in the day while being treated in hospital for a gunshot wound.
The injured, including a police officer, are in stable condition, ABI said.
Gonzalo Medina, regional commander of the police force's special anti-crime unit, said the criminals killed were Brazilian nationals wanted in connection with other crimes, and belonged to the Sao Paulo-based Primeiro Comando da Capital organized crime ring.
ABI described the brazen early-morning robbery as the most violent in the past 50 years.
The same store was robbed in 2014, with assailants stealing nearly USD1.5 million in cash and jewelry, police records show. (PNA)