Gunmen in the Dominican Republic opened fire and killed two radio journalists during a news bulletin broadcast on Facebook Live. The incident took place on 14 February at the radio station FM 103.5, which is situated in a shopping mall in San Pedro de Macorís city.
The assailants killed presenter Luís Manuel Medina of Milenio Caliente (Hot Millennium) — a morning news programme - and also shot the show's producer and director Leo Martínez, who was in the adjacent room.
Sounds of the attack could be heard on the Facebook Live session along with a woman shouting "Shots! Shots! Shots!" before the transmission was cut abruptly.
According to the news website El Boletin, Dayaba Garcia who worked with the radio station as a secretary, was also shot at. She was rushed to the hospital where she required emergency surgery.
Police have arrested three men in connection with the shooting but are yet to identify any motive behind it. The radio show was known to discuss a variety of subjects from political to social issues. Medina had recently been criticising the contamination of the Laguna Mallen, a protected lake in the city.
While journalists in the Dominican Republic face their fair share of harassment and threats, murders are very rare. "For gunmen to open fire in a media outlet like this is unprecedented," Olivo de Leon, from the College of Journalism told The Guardian.
"The authorities must investigate to determine not just the killers but also the intellectual authors so that we know why they were murdered. Impunity in this case will generate fear among journalists, making them scared to speak out and do their jobs. The government must guarantee freedom of expression," Leon said.
Numerous establishments, including banks within the shopping mall - where the shooting occurred - pulled down their shutters for the day as a precautionary measure.