Arrest in slaying of Quebecer in Dominican
Jean Gagné, 41, was vacationing with a friend in a private villa in the town of Sosua, east of Puerto Plata, when he was shot on New Year’s Eve.
Gagné’s friend, Alexandre Tremblay, told the French-language television network TVA that they were attacked in the middle of the night by two men.
Tremblay said he was bound, tied to his bed and robbed. Then, he said, he heard gunshots in the next room.
Gagné had been shot in the heart, while a private security guard was shot in the leg.
A Dominican television news report shows blood smeared and spattered on the floor of the villa.
The security guard was arrested, as well as two Haitian women who were with Gagné and Tremblay, said Col. Nelson Eddy Araujo of Dominican National Police.
The guard was involved in a plot to rob the pair and was promised a share of the take if he let the robbers in, Araujo said.
Araujo denied local media reports that the security guard shot Gagné before shooting himself in the leg to cover his tracks. He said another man pulled the trigger and police are still trying to track him down.
One witness said one of the women left the door to the villa open.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Department said consular officials on the island country are gathering details from local authorities.
The Foreign Affairs website warns travellers that the crime rate has increased in the Dominican Republic and that precautions should be taken. The U.S. State Department also warns the Caribbean island is dangerous and armed criminals may use force if they meet resistance.
Montreal travel agent Nora Chamass said she warns her clients that cheap deals to the Dominican Republic can be risky.
"I push them really to not go there," Chamass said. "I explain … to be aware what they’re taking or where they’re going."
During the same week a Norwegian tourist was also robbed and beaten to death in the Dominican Republic.
With files from The Canadian Press