SANTO DOMINGO (Dominican Republic) -- A close friend shot and killed the Dominican Republic's minister for the environment and natural resource -- the son of a former President -- on Monday, according to a statement from the presidential office.
Authorities claim that Miguel Cruz shot Orlando Jorge Mera. He has been taken into custody. There were no further details immediately available and it was not immediately clear if Cruz retained an attorney.
The office of President Luis Abinader stated that "We offer our deepest condolences."
Jorge is the son of a prominent political family. Jorge Blanco is the son and former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco's brother. His sister is vice minister in Abinader’s administration. Jorge's son, Jorge, is a lawmaker in the Modern Revolutionary Party of which he was a founder member.
The family released a statement stating that Cruz was Jorge's friend from childhood and that Jorge had been shot multiple times.
As mourners gathered near the building, police and emergency personnel surrounded the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry office in Santo Domingo. Jorge's office can be found on the fourth floor of the building, which also houses the Ministry of Tourism.
Jorge's ministry made a short statement saying that "we are troubled by this situation".
Bartolome Pujals was the executive director of the Cabinet of Innovation. He wrote that he regretted the killing.
He said, "His passing is a tragedy." "We Dominicans must come together to make a peace pact and peaceful coexistence. There can be no more violence."
Jorge, an attorney, was elected minister of environment and natural resources in august 2020.