HAITI – Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated overnight during an armed attack at his private residence, a top Haitian official confirmed to Local 10 News Wednesday.
First Lady Martine Moïse was shot during the attack and is hospitalized, interim Premier Claude Joseph said.
Haitian news outlets reported that a group of people, some of whom spoke in Spanish, stormed the home around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The official who spoke to Local 10 News said the assassin posed as a DEA agent.
Joseph condemned what he called a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act,” adding that Haiti’s National Police and other authorities had the situation in the Caribbean country under control.
The killing comes amid deepening political and economic stability and a spike in gang violence.
Moïse was the 42nd president of Haiti.
He spoke with Local 10 News anchor Calvin Hughes in May as the opposition was holding rallies and protests day after day, calling for him to resign.
For more than a year, Moise had been ruling by decree, a power granted in the country’s constitution when there’s been no legislative elections.
The presidential and legislative elections in Haiti are scheduled to be held this year on Sept. 26. A constitutional referendum will also be held on that date. It had been postponed twice, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.