Venezuelan officials say the country's most wanted gang leader has been killed in a shootout with police.

The Interior Ministry reported the death of Jose Tovar Colina, also known as "El Picure."

Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez identified Colina as the leader of a gang that dominates several states in the center of Venezuela. The gang is known for brutal killings, frequent confrontations with police and involvement with the drug trade.

The government had been chasing Colina for years.

Last year, local media reported that the gang shut down a public emergency room so doctors could attend to Colina after a gunfight.

Venezuela is among the most violent countries in the world. Officials announced Tuesday that Venezuela had about 4,700 homicides during the first three months of the year.