A nine-year-old American child was brutally murdered by a gang of men in the Dominican Republic just an hour after he arrived in the island Caribbean nation with his family for an alleged Spring Break vacation.
Gioser Luis Feliz was riding in a rental car after landing at Santiago’s Cibao International Airport when a botched robbery left him dead and other passengers in the vehicle injured. The boy was struck in the head with a bullet and pronounced dead after an emergency surgery failed to save him.
Fox News reported that the murder was the result of a failed robbery attempt by at least six men who resorted to opening fire on the vehicle. Fox wrote:
Dominican Republic police say that the group of men allegedly followed the rental car from Cibao International Airport and attempted to stop and rob the vehicle. The boy’s father, Sergio Luis Feliz, and at least one other person were also in the vehicle.
When the group refused to stop, one of the robbers opened fire, striking the fourth grader in the head.
The crime made national news, leading to a statement from the country’s president.
“Since I found out about the death of the child Gioser Luis Féliz, I have been following up on the case.” Luis Abinader stated in a translated Twitter post. “I have been informed by the Director of the National Police about the arrest of the 5 criminals who committed this horrendous crime. Now justice must be ensured in the courts.”
Desde que me enteré de la muerte del niño Gioser Luis Féliz, estoy dando seguimiento al caso. He sido informado por el Director de la Policía Nacional sobre el apresamiento de los 5 delincuentes que cometieron ese horrendo crimen. Ahora se debe asegurar justicia en los tribunales
— Luis Abinader (@luisabinader) April 20, 2023
Fox added that in the days following the heinous crime, six of the unknown total number of criminals had been apprehended.
“By Friday, April 21, Santiago police had arrested six of the men. In a disturbing turn, Santiago News Outlet SIN News is reporting that at least one of the suspects was a friend of Gioser’s father, Sergio,” Fox added.
The story is full of heartbreak, as it seems obvious an innocent child was wrapped up in something perhaps a little more sinister than is being reported so far. On the surface, it would seem that a family simply trying to enjoy some island sun was caught up in a tragic situation.
However – and while this is pure speculation – additional details suggest this wasn’t entirely random. There is the fact that the dead boy’s father potentially knew one of the assassins personally. There is then the fact that the father told Fox 5 New York that he thought his and his son’s photographs were shared on social media, potentially making them specific targets.
Indeed, as busy as the DR is for travelers and vacationers, the odds that a car would be randomly assaulted by such a large group of men is slim. Add to that the criminals allegedly knew their victims, and it gets really dicey.
It cannot also be overlooked that, despite their American citizenship, the boy’s father might very well have been from the Dominican Republic himself. This was not a random attack on a white Midwestern family; this has the sounds and looks of a targeted attack on the father or the unnamed second adult in the vehicle. The boy was simply murdered in the crossfire.
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