Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Puerto Rico: Prominent Physician Shot, Killed Following Minor Accident with Wanted Criminal

According to EFE, Dr. Carlos Pedraza MD, 53, a prominent Puerto Rican physician, who lived in Moca (in the island's northwestern region) was shot and killed this past weekend (July 6-7) after being involved in a minor  traffic accident with a known criminal, Carlos Nieves, 29.

By Monday (July 8), Nieves had been arrested and was being held on bond of $3.5 million.
Nieves' vehicle apparently had collided with the physician’s car. When the two men exited their vehicles to assess the damage, Dr. Pedraza insisted on calling the police, whereupon Nieves quickly produced a pistol and shot the doctor twice, killing him.

COMMENT: It should be noted that Nieves was wanted on both domestic violence and drug charges and may well have shot and killed Pedraza for fear that the police would be called to the scene.

Unfortunately, unlike the US mainland, where all states have concealed carry laws, Puerto Rico does not permit private citizens to carry a concealed firearm, despite the fact that the criminal violence on a per capita basis in Puerto Rico is greater than any US state or territory.

As I have said previously, tourists and travelers to Puerto Rico should be extremely cautious, as most Puerto Rican carry concealed firearms regardless of whether they can do so legally or not. 

It is for this reason that I strongly discourage visitors to the island from engaging in disputes of any kind with locals.