Santurce, PR – Police have confirmed that the body of the gunman accused of murdering three law enforcement officers in Carolina on Monday has been discovered near the Santurce YMCA.
Police found the bullet-ridden body of accused hitman David Rivera Batiz, 25, dumped in the San Juan suburb hours after the deadly attacks on the three officers, Puerto Rico Police Negotiation Commissioner Colonel Antonio Lopez Figueroa confirmed on Wednesday, according to CyberNews.
“I am responsible for the murder of the guard (s). Here it is,” a cardboard sign hanging from Rivera Batiz’s body said, according to The Spokesman.
He had been dumped onto top of a pile of garbage, Cyber News reported.
Investigators were able to further link Rivera Batiz to the incident by using surveillance videos taken near the locations where the officers were murdered, Col. Lopez Figueroa said, according to The Spokesman.
A source familiar with Rivera Batiz identified him as the suspect in the videos, the commissioner said.
Investigators said they are still working to determine who is responsible for killing Rivera Batiz, but noted his death is being investigated as a potential street justice homicide, the Associated Press reported.
Col. Lopez Figueroa further said investigators believe Rivera Batiz had been hired by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cantera (FARC), a drug trafficking organization, to kill 24-year-old Isadora Marie Nieves Cruz, The Spokesman reported.
Nieves Cruz, who also went by the name of Pinky Curvy, was fatally shot while leaving a San Juan-area restaurant on Oct. 17, 2020, Heavy reported.
The famous Puerto Rican influencer Pinky Curvy, Puerto Rico, is shot to death
Isadora Marie Nieves Cruz, known as "Pinky Curvy", was murdered in an incident that occurred on Roosevelt Avenue in Hato Rey in the middle of a shooting. pic.twitter.com/YQP5KW2vKf
— Moises Lopez (@chapoisat) October 20, 2020
Nieves Cruz was one of 75 suspects who were federally indicted as part of a massive drug trafficking operation in Puerto Rico in 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Col. Lopez Figueroa said police quickly identified Rivera Batiz as the gunman who opened fire on Carolina Municipal Police Department (CMPD) Agent Luiz Salaman-Conde on Avenida Roberto Clemente on Monday, The Spokesman reported.
Rivera Batiz pulled out a rifle as soon as Agent Salaman-Conde arrived at the scene, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“Without saying a word, he starts shooting,” Lopez Figueroa said, according to the Associated Press.
The gunman allegedly tried to steal the officer’s motorcycle and fatally shot him as the officer was lying on the ground, the Associated Press reported.
The gunman left the wounded agent in the roadway and carjacked a nearby vehicle, police said.
He then sped off down the Baldorioty de Castro Expressway as additional CMPD and Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officers gave chase, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The suspect stopped the stolen vehicle near the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and started shooting at police again.
PRPD Agent Luis Marrero-Diaz was fatally wounded in the attack, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The gunman then slammed his vehicle into CMPD Agent Eliezer Hernandez-Cartagena before he escaped once again.
Agent Salaman-Conde, Agent Marrero-Diaz, and Agent Hernandez-Cartagena all died from their injuries.
These are the 3 police officers killed today in Puerto Rico, allegedly by a carjacking suspect who shot 2 of them dead as they tried to stop him & then ran over a 3rd officer.
From left to right, they are : Eliezer Hernández Cartagena, Luis Marrero Díaz & Luis Salamán Conde. https://t.co/4rxcY1NXkW
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) January 12, 2021
A fourth officer injured during the deadly confrontation is now in stable condition, according to CyberNews.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico W. Stephen Muldrow said the attack constituted “an unspeakable act of barbarism.”
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of these brave officers in the line of duty,” Muldrow said in a statement on Tuesday. “On behalf of all those who serve in the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the officers’ loved ones and their colleagues.”
Rivera Batiz is also the prime suspect in multiple other murders and vehicle thefts, according to The Spokesman.