Gilberto Hernández, a member of Panama’s national football team, was killed by gunmen who opened fire on a crowd gathered in a building in the city of Colón.
Apart from the death of the 26-year-old, seven others were injured in the attack, in the shooting that happened on Sunday afternoon, according to BBC.
The report has not established if Hernández, who also played for Club Atlético Independiente, was the target of the shooting or what the motive was. There has been a spate of killings in Colón over the past months as two rival gangs fight for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes. No fewer than 50 people have been killed in Colón, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, so far this year, the report said.
The port city, located on the north entrance to the Panama Canal, serves as a transit point for cocaine transported from South America to Europe via Panama. Two shooters persuaded a cab driver to take them to a building in the city’s Barrio Norte neighborhood, opened fire on the crowd, and then fled the scene. Hernández made his Panamanian national team debut against Guatemala in March of this year. The player’s father encouraged Colón’s youngsters to “stop the violence” and requested officials to “start projects to save the youth from this violence.” He also urged the killers to turn themselves up, saying, “Don’t cause any more harm.” The Panamanian football federation and Hernández’s team have both expressed their disappointment.