Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in a brazen attack at his residence by men speaking a mixture of English and Spanish. The men tried to pass themselves off as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

President Moise’s wife, Martine, was shot and critically injured. She was transported to a Miami hospital where she’s listed in stable but critical condition. 

The attackers, all foreigners, were involved in a shootout with police and security forces after they left the president’s residence. Four were killed and two others were arrested and taken into custody. Haitian authorities are searching for the rest.

A Brazen Attack

The attackers stormed the presidential residence around 1 a.m. on Wednesday after taking three Haitian policemen hostage. Those officers were later freed.

Magistrate Carl Henry Destin in a statement to the Novelist newspaper said that President Moise suffered 12 different bullet wounds in the attack. His wife was also shot and their bedroom ransacked. 

Moise’s three children were reportedly brought to a safe location. One daughter hid in her brother’s room during the attack. Three domestic staff members were tied up but otherwise unharmed. 

Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph called the attackers “mercenaries, who spoke English and Spanish” although later one government official stated that there are Haitians among the suspects. The official languages of Haiti are Creole and French. 

Haitian Ambassador to the U.S. Bocchit Edmond spoke to CNN saying that authorities were trying to determine the identities and nationalities of the assassins.