Police: 17 suspects detained in connection to the assassination of Haiti’s president


MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Colombian police have learned four companies were involved in recruiting people to assassinate Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Police say the suspects traveled through the Dominican Republican in two groups before crossing into Haiti. So far, 17 suspects have been detained.

New video released by Haitian police shows the suspects accused of killing Haiti’s president. In the footage, you can see the suspects handcuffed and lined up on the floor. There are also high-powered rifles and other weapons, plus phones and passports.

Police say they killed four other suspects in a firefight and are still on the hunt for more.

The White House announced Friday the U.S. is sending a team to help investigate.

“We will be sending senior FBI and DHS officials to Port-au-Prince to assess the situation and how we may be able to assist,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Two of the suspects are U.S. citizens, Haitian Americans, who lived in south Florida.

More than a dozen others are Colombian.

James Pierre, a Haitian radio and TV journalist in Miami, says there is new information that police officers responsible for securing the president’s residence could be involved.

“Why didn’t the president receive help for two hours from other units of the national police? It is very disturbing,” Pierre said.

Pierre also said the killing was brutal.

 “I saw the picture,” Pierre said. “It was really tough. 12 shots. They took off his eyes, shot him in the ear, broke his neck, broke his legs.”

The assassination has unleashed a spasm of violence in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Sherrieka Othello is Haitian American and coaches a Haitian girl’s soccer team near Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. She says there is so much corruption, on all sides, she doesn’t know who to trust.

“They are asking me, ‘what do we believe? where do we start? what does this mean for the Haitian community and our people?’ and it is kind of hard to even give them answers,” Othello said.

Haiti’s first lady was also shot during the assassination. She was flown to Miami where she is hospitalized.

Now, there is an unpredictable power struggle in Haiti because the acting prime minister and the recently appointed prime minister are both claiming to be in charge.

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