SAN JUAN – A Puerto Rican police officer was killed Wednesday in a shootout with a would-be robber at a gas station in the southeastern town of Patillas, authorities said.
The Puerto Rico Police Department identified the slain officer as 55-year-old Francis Crespo Mandri, who had more than 20 years on the force.
It was 1:40 a.m. when Crespo and officer Nelson Campos confronted Eric Michael Cruz, 28, as he was trying to rob the gas station.
Crespo died on the spot of wounds received in the gunbattle, while the injured Cruz was taken to the San Juan Medical Center, the PRPD said in a statement.
Crespo is the second PRPD officer to be killed in the line of duty so far this year. Abimael Castro Berrocales was fatally shot on New Year’s Day during a traffic stop in the southwestern coastal tow of Cabo Rojo.
Last year was the most violent in Puerto Rico’s recent history, with 1,136 murders, more than half of them drug-related, according to authorities. EFE