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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Puerto Rico policeman fatally shot two high-ranking officers and a policewoman on Monday following an argument and hostage taking at work that temporarily shut down the station in the U.S. territory's second largest city, authorities said. The suspect was immediately placed under arrest.
The suspect, Guarionex Candelario Rivera, held a female lieutenant, a male commander and a policewoman hostage in an office before he killed them, police spokeswoman Mayra Ayala told The Associated Press. She said authorities were about to start negotiations with the 50-year-old suspect when the victims were killed. She said police did not yet have information on a motive.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla told reporters that the suspect was injured during the shooting and remains hospitalized. Garcia declined to say what kind of injuries the officer received and how they were inflicted.
Walter Torres, mayor of the nearby southern town of Penuelas, told El Nuevo Dia newspaper that he knew the suspect well. "People here are incredulous to learn it was him," Torres was quoted as saying. "He is very religious, one of those people who would visit those who are sick; a quiet person, a homebody."
Puerto Rico's police force is one of the largest in a U.S. jurisdiction. The troubled department is undergoing a 10-year federally mandated reform after U.S. prosecutors accused officers of illegal killings, corruption and civil rights violations.