Venezuelan prosecutors say soldier kills 2, ensuing shootout wounds 6 at Caracas military base

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A soldier shot and killed two officers at a Venezuelan military base Saturday, setting off a gunfight that wounded six other soldiers, authorities said.

The alleged gunman fled Caracas' Fort Tiuna in a car that was later found abandoned in a slum, and troops and police were searching for him.

The soldier opened fire after arguing with a superior, Capt. Miguel Angel Rosales, shooting the 33-year-old officer in the head with a Russian-made AK-103 assault rifle, according to the attorney general's office.

Minutes later the suspect, identified as Jeffersson Jose Trujillo Vasquez, fatally shot Lt. Alfredo Ruiz, 25, at an arms depot, the office said in a statement that was carried by the state-run Venezuelan News Agency.

The statement said an exchange of gunfire followed in which six soldiers were wounded — three women and three men ranging in rank from sergeant to first lieutenant.

There was no immediate public reaction by military officials, and government officials could not be reached for comment.

Fort Tiuna is Venezuela's largest military base and also the headquarters of the Defense Ministry.

It is the same installation where a Hong Kong athlete was wounded by an apparent stray bullet Aug. 13 during the women's baseball World Cup. The team pulled out of the tournament afterward, and organizers moved the remaining games away from the base.

It was unclear whether the bullet was fired from inside Fort Tiuna or elsewhere.