Police confirm man found dead with cardboard sign killed officers in carjacking, Baldorioty chase
By The Star Staff
Designated Puerto Rico Police Bureau Commissioner Col. Antonio López Figueroa announced Wednesday that the man whose bullet-riddled body was found in Santurce was the perpetrator of Monday’s triple slaying of municipal and commonwealth police officers in Carolina.
“David Rivera Batiz was responsible for the events,” López Figueroa said at a press conference.
López Figueroa also said Rivera Batiz was a member of the criminal organization known as FARC and was one of those involved in the murder of Isadora Nieves, known as “Pinky Curvy.”
At the same press conference, Lt. Col. Rolando Trinidad showed several images recovered from security cameras near the area of the incident, which he said helped to identify Rivera Batiz, including a tattoo with the name “Sophia” on his arm and another tattoo on his left leg. Trinidad said the images were evaluated by an expert to confirm that the man killed was also responsible for the killing of the officers.
The investigation is still open. The designated commissioner said the Police Bureau is also seeking the whereabouts of Carlos Cotto, known as “Wassa,” a suspect in several homicides and other criminal cases. The name initially appeared as one of the suspects in the slain officers’ case. López Figueroa asked citizens for their cooperation to solve the case.
He also said the investigation is continuing to find the person responsible for the death of Rivera Batiz.
“Every death is important; that young man is someone’s son,” López Figueroa said.
The bullet-riddled body of Rivera Batiz, 25, was found in the early morning Tuesday, near Luis Muñoz Rivera Avenue, on a pile of garbage with a piece of cardboard placed on it that read, “I am responsible for the murder of the officers. Here it is.”
The designated police commissioner also said Rivera Batiz had a criminal record for stolen vehicles and Weapons Law violations. He also was a suspect in several homicides in the Ponce area.
All three officers died Monday after responding to a call reporting an auto accident in Carolina. When they arrived at the scene, the suspect shot one of the officers and fled in the direction of San Juan after carjacking a white Hyundai Accent. A chase ensued, and on the Román Baldorioty de Castro Expressway approaching the border with San Juan, the suspect shot another officer and then ran over a third, according to police and press reports.
A fourth police officer was wounded by gunfire, but is in stable condition.