A 22-year-old medical student was shot at point blank range by Venezuelan military police Thursday. The entire incident was caught on video. From CNN:
In a shocking video, a protester is seen hurling what appear to be rocks over a fence at La Carlota airbase. At least two soldiers approach from the other side of the fence. One of them fires at the young man with a shotgun or a rifle from a few feet away.
The protester, a knapsack slung over his chest and his face covered with a bandana, falls to the ground. Another protester, carrying a makeshift shield and a Venezuelan flag draped over his back, moves in as if to provide cover. The wounded protester gets up and staggers away, grasping his chest…
“The sergeant used an unauthorized weapon to repel the attack, causing the death of one of the participants in the siege,” Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol said on Twitter. The sergeant faces legal proceedings, the minister said. It’s unclear what type of ammunition he used.
Here’s the video of the shooting:
It turns out this young man’s father used to work with President Nicholas Maduro, back when Maduro was a bus driver. From the Miami Herald:
Speaking to reporters at the Caracas morgue, David Vallenilla said he had been Maduro’s supervisor when they both worked at the Caracas Metro. And he said Maduro had met his son, David José, when the boy was just a child.
“Friend, I call you my friend because I always thought you were a very centered person….It’s in your hands to clear this case,” Vallenilla said, addressing Maduro as he choked back tears. “Nicolás, please, I’m not going to say that we’re seeking justice because that word is overused, but I don’t want this [his death] to be forgotten.”
Vallenilla’s friends brought his cap and gown to the site where he was killed:
— El Diario (@eldiario) June 23, 2017
This is being framed as a rogue element, just like the previous 75 deaths, most of which are attributable to the government. But this isn’t even the first shooting of a protester this week. On Monday a 17-year-old was shot and killed by the Venezuelan national guard.