San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Cop killings

Two Costa Rican police officers killed in San José

Four off-duty police officers were shot and two died from gunshot wounds early Wednesday morning in San Sebastián, just south of downtown San José.

According to Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), the cops were driving in a private car through the Cañada Sur neighborhood of San Sebastián at 1 a.m. Wednesday when they came to a halt at a stop sign. There, multiple subjects got out of a nearby car and opened fire on the car with the four officers in it.

Officer Errol López – who had been with the National Police force for 10 years – died on the scene, and fellow patrolman Bryan Herrera died at San Juán de Dios Hospital in downtown San José on Wednesday morning. The two other officers were injured with gunshots to the legs during the same attack and taken to the hospital along with Herrera.

None of the police officers were working at the time of the attack, nor were they in undercover operations, a Security Ministry spokesman noted. The victims appeared to be heading in the direction of the Police Intervention Unit in San Sebastián where they worked, according to an OIJ report.

Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said in a Wednesday morning press conference that some residents of the area tried to clean the crime scene to get rid of leftover evidence. He said investigators were still looking for leads in regards to suspects and asked for the “good residents” of the neighborhood to alert the OIJ if they have any information.

OIJ officials said they believe the gunshots came from either a 9 millimeter or a .40 caliber pistol.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at

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Heartfelt sympathies and prayers for the fallen officers and their families. I hope the perpetrators are caught soon before more innocent lives are lost.

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