Haitian senator shoots two men outside parliament: report

Haitian senator shoots two men outside parliament: report

A Haitian senator opened fire outside the nation’s parliament Monday, injuring an Associated Press photographer and a security guard, according to The Guardian.

Photographer Chery Dieu-Nalio received nonthreatening facial injuries while security guard Leon Leblanc was also injured but was able to leave the scene by himself, The Guardian reported. LeBlanc identified the gunman to reporters as Jean Marie Ralph Féthière, a senator from northern Haiti.

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Another senator, Patrice Dumont, said his fellow senator had drawn his gun while making his way through a crowd of protesters, saying he would fire if they did not clear the way and allow him to leave.

Féthière, interviewed by a radio station, claimed he acted in self-defense but did not specifically admit to firing his gun, saying “I was attacked by groups of violent militants. They tried to get me out of my vehicle. And so I defended myself. Self-defense is a sacred right.”

“Armed individuals threatened me. It was proportional. Equal force, equal response,” he added.

Féthière said he had not known Dieu-Nalio, who was wearing a flak jacket with “press” written on it, was a journalist.

Demonstrators were gathered at the parliament building as President Jovenel Moïse attempts to push through the appointment of Fritz-William Michel as Haiti’s new prime minister before leaving the country to address the United Nations this week. The move has compounded existing unrest over inflation, currently at 19 percent, and a major fuel shortage in Haiti, according to The Guardian.