San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Airport Shootout Leaves One Dead

At least two young men exchanged gunfire that proved fatal for one in the parking ramp of the JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport, northwest of San José, during Sunday’s early morning rush, the daily La Nación reported.

The daily quoted Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) in recreating the crime scene, which they suspect culminated a dispute between drug traffickers. A young man approached the car that another drove into the parking ramp and said, “Maje, give me the bag you have there,” after which the gunfight’s victim pulled out a handgun and started shooting. The other shot back, and the first fell to the ground outside the car, La Nación reported.

Airport security and police found two handguns on the pavement and arrested two men, ages 21 and 24, both Jamaicans who arrived in Costa Rica two weeks earlier.

One said he was the victim’s friend. The other, according to witnesses, fired the fatal shot, La Nación said. Pending investigation, police were uncertain who was the perpetrator and whether or not the victim was accompanied. Police said an unidentified woman, possibly having arrived at the airport with the victim, fled the scene.

Medics of the Alajuela Red Cross attempted CPR on the man on the ground, but he died within minutes. Bullets from the shootout damaged at least four other cars in the parking lot, the daily reported.

OIJ officials later identified the victim as a 33-year-old Jamaican man with the last name Oraldea.


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