San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
crime

US man shot, killed outside Jacó club

Updated at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29

A 38-year-old U.S. man was killed in the Pacific beach town of Jacó outside of a club early Wednesday morning, according to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ). A friend confirmed the man was John Lonergan of Florida.

OIJ’s head of operations Michael Soto Rojas said Lonergan left the club with a woman at around 4:20 in the morning.

They were hailing a taxi when a man approached them and offered them drugs, Soto said. The couple declined and got in the taxi.

The man who tried to sell them drugs, who has yet to be identified, opened the door and tried to drag the woman out of the car, according to OIJ.

A fight brewed and the unidentified man pulled a gun and shot Lonergan twice. He died in a local clinic, according to OIJ. The gunman fled and had yet to be captured as of Wednesday evening.

Lonergan left behind a wife and two children, ages 3 and 13, according to his friend, who wished not to be identified.

Follow ticotimes.net for updates on this story. 

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Hotel Catalina

So sad…our sincere condolences to the family.

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Jaco55

Wow my Condolonces . This should happen to no one never mind circumstances . I urge and urge all residents all buisness owners all home owners . To demand the police do more to protect everyone from criminals that are doing illegal things in Jaco . This
Is not the Jaco or the Costa Rica that I know . It should be safe for anyone at anytime . This issue needs to be addressed for the safety of all .

My condolences

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ccdagp

In a country where anything goes, I now believe I can safely say it’s open-season on this ignorant jackass(Ken Morris) who loves to run his mouth.

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Eddie Cruz Bjj

I have known John for 20 years he was there every time I needed some one to bail me out of my stupidity was and is a great man in my world. He will be MISSED so much. I was looking forward to hanging put with him when I eventually made it state side. Condolences to all the Lonergan family and if you need any thing even though I am far away I will do my best to help out how ever I can.

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Dora Saputa

Christine, I would like to give you and the rest of the affected my condolences. I am not sure if I knew your brother or not, but if his wifes name starts with the letter “L” please let me know, and if so we need to talk. I might have some information that might be of help to finding out who did this. I do not know if you would be interested, but when my mother was dying of cancer one of the hospice nurses gave me a book called “Many Lives Many Masters” it helped me tremendously to make peace with her passing at a young age. Once again sorry for your loss.

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Christine Lonergan

First of all you don’t know my brother. He is a,great husband to his wife. Has two children here in the states. He is an awesome dad brother uncle son. Keep your negative Bulls hit to your self. We are trying hard to deal with his loss
There are many stories going around but his contact workers and friends that were with him say different from this story. His friend held my brother in his arms as he passed. That is not even on this story ofcoarse
My brother is married to a beautiful intelligent woman who is from costa rica. Have respect for her the mother of their 2 yrs old son
My brother wasn’t on drugs he was against drugs. Yes he knew people who did them. I think we all know someone or have lost a friend from them
My brother preached to my kids his nieces about not doing drugs. He has seen way to much especially in costa rica where it’s very easy to do whatever you want
He worked there. It was legit business. Was only there to check on it and come home
He became citizen there also after marrying my sister I’m law in 2010
I have,been to costa rica twice and it’s beautiful yes it has bad too. Now I really fear it
Keep your negative shit to yourself. He has a mom sister brother nieces nephew a,daughter son wife who are,trying to cope. Thsnks to the guy who stood up for my brother. Means alot. He was very close with me we did so much together. I’m devastated by all this. He worked hard and did alot for all he knew. Rest in peace my baby brother I will always have your back. Xoxo. He is with his father in heaven and will always be with us. Xoxo

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freyr

Was the woman the U.S. man’s wife?
Was she a prostitute? Was she the drug dealer’s ‘property’?
Still safer than being on the streets in the USA at 4:20 am. as the body count would be much higher.

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freyr

My unthinking and hurtful comment is very much regretted.
It was as much in response to the first commenter’s statement of fault of the wonderful country of Costa Rica.
I would ask the moderator of the Tico Times to please remove my hurtful and unthinking original comment.
I offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies to the family, friends and to anyone my hurtful comment affected
I am sorry.

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Jules Flutie

Are you fu*!@$€! KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? THAT’S YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS ON THIS?????? I’ve known “the us man ” for fifteen years!!! NO HE WAS NOT A DRUG USER OR WOULD HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH A DRUG DEALER! WHY IN THE F@$!# DOES IT MATTER WHO THE WOMAN WAS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHAT’S THE RELEVANCE OF THAT TO THE STORY, OF ONE OF THE BEST MAN I WILL EVER HAVE THE HONOR OF KNOWING BEING GUNNED DOWN?????????? AND WHY WOULD YOUR OBVIOUSLY IGNORANT MIND THINK THAT WAS AN ACCEPTABLE COMMENT TO POST ON SUCH A SAD STORY??!?!???!? I’M HONESTLY NOT SURE IF IT’S IGNORANCE OR JUST PLAIN STUPID. HIS FAMILY AND OBVIOUSLY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO SEE THIS. DO YOU HAVE A HEART OR IS THAT MADE UP OF EMPTY SPACE AS SO CLEARLY YOUR HEAD IS. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IS IT OK TO BE GUNNED DOWN. THE MAN HAS CHILDREN, HIS DAUGHTER MAY READ THIS. HE WAS A GREAT MAN, AN AMAZING FAMILY MAN, LOVED HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN. RAN A LEGIT BUSINESS. SERIOUSLY WHO THE F DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? SO AFTER WORKING EXTREMELY HARD TO PROVIDE FOR HIS FAMILY SOMEHOW IT’S HIS FAULT FOR LETTING LOOSE A BIT AND GOING OUT?????? 38 NOT 58. I SINCERELY HOPE MY REPLY MAKES YOU USE THAT THING YOUR NECK HOLDS UP AND IMMEDIATELY DELETE YOUR ABSURD COMMENT. YOU WOULDN’T OF SAID THOSE THINGS IF IT WERE YOUR FAMILY OR A CLOSE FRIEND. I SUPPOSE UNFORTUNATELY I’M NOT AS HEARTLESS OF A PERSON SUCH AS YOURSELF WHO WOULD SAY MAYBE IF IT WERE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVED YOU WOULDN’T BE SO QUICK TO ATTEMPT AT TURNING THIS STORY OF A GREAT MAN INTO SOMEONE WHO BANGS PROSTITUTES AND INSTEAD WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE A BRAIN AND A LITTLE HEART. THANK GOD I’M NOT THE TYPE TO ACTUALLY SAY THAT TO YOU. I CAN’T SAY THAT OTHERS WON’T!!!!!!!!

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Christine Lonergan

Thank ypu

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Ken Morris

My sympathies to the deceased’s family and friends. It sounds like he was a great guy in many ways, and no one deserves to be killed like he was.

However, they and others might want to take a step back and appreciate that this cryptic news story includes enough suspicious facts to cause a reasonable reader to wonder what exactly went down.

First, he was in Jacó, a gringo party town. Second, he was out till after 4 AM in the bars with a woman who was not his wife. Well, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with the fellow in either respect, but it frankly does suggest that he was in the range of being out of control. Third, he was shot and killed by a drug dealer for refusing to buy drugs? Wait a second, I have refused to buy drugs from street sellers too, but not one has shot me yet for that. Anything is possible, but it doesn’t add up that a street drug dealer would shoot someone for simply not buying drugs.

According to another cryptic news report, the altercation was really between the woman and the drug dealer, the victim intervened, and he was shot for doing so. Maybe this makes him the hero. However, in addition to consorting with some unsavory types in the wee hours of the morning in a notorious party location, we might want to ask what the nature of his intervention was. Did he unnecessarily provoke the shooter?

Meanwhile, I am and perhaps others are weary of the narrative that invariably surfaces after incidents like these that always paints the gringo as a saint and the killers as low-life thugs. Some of us who have been around for awhile question this narrative. We know that often the gringo is the real scoundrel.

Of course, at this point none of us, and surely none of us outsiders, knows what really happened. We probably won’t until there’s a trial and the facts are presented, although unfortunately the trials tend to receive far less coverage.

My guess is that the victim was a great guy in many ways, but also a fellow who pushed the envelope too far on at least this tragic night. It’s just not easy to believe that he wasn’t complicit in some way in his shooting. Costa Rica does have a fairly high gun homicide rate, but when you subtract out the drug gang killings and instances of domestic violence, gun killings are actually pretty rare. I find it hard to believe that a gringo was killed simply for refusing to buy drugs from a street dealer. It was more complicated and he was more involved than this.

However, I’m only guessing, and whatever happened, it’s tragic that he was killed over it.

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captmarkhd

Very sad! I love Costa Rica but situations like this is what will cause her to go into a death spiral. Rember in the 80’s Rio was THE place to go, not anymore.

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