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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: 2023 homicide rate was lowest in 40 years

Remarks come a day after man who allegedly killed 2 and wounded 2 others then takes his own life

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that the 464 homicides reported by the Puerto Rico Police Bureau in 2023 was the lowest number in 40 years.

“Last year we had an extraordinary reduction in the number of murders in Puerto Rico,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “You have to go back 40 years to find a number comparable or equal to the number of murders we had.” “But each of these murders is terrible and when they are femicides, they are the same,” he added. “I mean, they’re all very unfortunate and we don’t want them.”

The governor referred to an incident in Toa Alta where on Monday night there was a femicide, another slaying, two people were wounded by gunfire and the man thought to be the perpetrator took his own life when police pulled over the vehicle he was driving, according to reports.

The incident began at around 8 p.m. Monday at a residence on 6th Street in the Muracabones neighborhood of Toa Alta.

According to preliminary information made available Tuesday, a 9-1-1 call alerted police to shots fired at the scene. Upon arrival at the residence, the lifeless body of 75-year-old Ada Torres Morales, a resident of the place, was found. Meanwhile, one of the injured, identified as 49-year-old José Rosa Torres, was transported in serious condition to the Medical Center in Río Piedras, where he later died.

In addition, two people were shot and wounded. They were transported to a hospital, where it was reported that both were in guarded condition.

It was reported that the aggressor left the location of the shooting in a gray 2012 BMW vehicle, which the police managed to stop at the highway PR-861 entrance to the Los Dominicos residential complex in Bayamón.

The driver, identified as 65-year-old Manuel Santiago Alvarado, then reportedly took his own life.

Agent John Crespo of the Vega Baja Homicide Division, along with prosecutor Daniela Mejías, took charge of the investigation.

As previously reported by the STAR, five slayings recorded over the weekend brought the number of homicides in Puerto Rico to eight as of early Monday, compared to 19 for the first seven days of 2023.

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