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Dominican mayor is gunned down by former employee in his city hall office

A mayor in the Dominican Republic's capital was shot and killed while in his office on Tuesday, local news outlets are reporting.

Juan de los Santos, a mayor in the municipality of Santo Domingo Este, had just returned from a meeting with other city mayors when a former employee entered his office and shot him in the head and chest. 

The shooter has been identified as Luis Feliz and was reportedly the mayor's business partner as well, according to acento.com.do.

A security guard who entered the room during the commotion was also gunned down by Feliz, who then turned the gun on himself. 

Witnesses told reporters Feliz didn't utter a word before opening fire.

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Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said the murder seemed to be motivated by some kind of payback aimed at settling a score. He said an investigation is currently underway.

In a statement posted on Facebook, U.S. Ambassador to the D.R. James “Wally” Brewster said that he was “surprised and saddened” by the “horrible murder” of De Los Santos, who was 45.

“He was always a nice and professional man when we ever met,” he wrote in Spanish. “This is a very sad day for the Dominican Republic. I pray for him and his family and for the two other people who lost their lives at the same time.”

De Los Santos was a businessman who entered politics in 2002 and was voted mayor in 2006. 

Just hours before his death, De Los Santos had also shared photos on Facebook of him and his two children at the annual Christmas celebration at their school. He is also survived by his wife.

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