9-year-old American Killed in Dominican Republic Robbery

After his family moved to the Dominican Republic, an American boy was killed in what police think was a failed robbery planned by a family friend.

Gioser Luis Féliz, who was only nine years old, was shot and killed on April 19, just 30 minutes after his flight from New York arrived at the Cibao International Airport in Santiago de los Caballeros.

The suspects are said to have gone after Sergio Luis Feliz Mancebo, the father of the child, and his girlfriend. Univision said that the attackers caught the family by surprise as they drove a rented car to a nearby county.

A friend of Mr. Feliz Mancebo picked up the family from the airport. When the suspects opened fire on the car, the friend tried to get away from the violence. Diario Libre says that the shooters, who were in a white Hyundai Sonata, then drove away from the scene.

Gioser Was Shot in the Head

Gioser was shot in the head and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later declared dead. Sources told Diario Libre on Friday that Tomás Pea Morel, a close friend of the child’s father, had been arrested for reportedly telling the gunmen about Mr. Feliz Mancebo’s trip.

Mr. Pea Morel is now being accused of planning the robbery. It is said that he went to the morgue with Gioser’s grieving father when the father picked up his body.

His arrest comes a day after the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, criticized the killing and said that five other men had been arrested in connection with it.

The other suspects have been named as Luis Angel Vargas Brito, 18; Derlin Javier Mercado Martínez; César Junior Ulloa Cuevas; José Manuel Almonte Santana, 20; and Elian Martínez Sánchez, 22.

“I’m always told what’s going on with the case,” Mr. Abinader tweeted on Thursday.

The child’s father told local media that he thinks the people who attacked him were trying to steal from him. Before going back to New York on Monday, Gioser’s family planned to spend his spring break in Santiago.

Diario Libre says that Gioser’s body will likely be sent back to the US.

As the investigation goes on, officials are likely to give out more information.

Due to crime, the US State Department tells Americans to be more careful when they go to the Dominican Republic.

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