Rosario suffered more bloodshed on Tuesday night as two hitmen gunned down a policeman and wounded a nurse at a public hospital.
Police, who are investigating the motive behind the attack, say it is unclear if the assassins planned to kill or rescue a prisoner who had been transferred to the Hospital Provincial de Rosario.
Investigators are working to establish what exactly occurred during the attack, which took place at 9.10pm on Tuesday evening (November 14). The murderers escaped in a Fiat Uno and so far have not been found.
According to witness reports, the two assailants entered the public hospital searching for a room. Opening fire, they murdered police officer Leoncio Bermúdez and seriously wounded a nurse.
Police sources told the Noticias Argentinas news agency that the two men entered wearing facemasks and asked staff where the bathroom was. Immediately afterwards they went to a room where an inmate, later identified as Gabriel Guillermo Lencina, was being held under custody by police officers.
Police officers on duty went to intervene and were fired upon, the sources said. Several shots were fired by the attackers.
CCTV footage captured the moment Bermúdez was executed. The police officer was struck by a gunshot wound to the head and shot again once he fell to the ground. He was transferred to the Hospital de Emergencias Clemente Álvarez (HECA) in a critical condition. Efforts to save him were unsuccessful.
A 50-year-old nurse, who was not named, also suffered gunshot wounds in both legs. She was also hospitalised, police sources told Noticias Argentinas.
According to the expert report disclosed by the AIC Criminal Investigation Agency, six empty clips were found at the scene, along with blood and the magazine of the murdered policeman’s gun.
The case is being investigated by prosecutor Gisela Paolicelli. Investigators are unclear if the killers wanted to kill inmate Lencina or help him to escape.
Lencina is serving over 22 years for murder, attempted murder and instigating another death. Police sources told Noticias Argentinas that he is not linked to the Los Monos drug gang and is part of another criminal group led by another jailed felon Hernán 'Lichi' Romero, the leader of a narco clan based in the Nuevo Alberdi neighbourhood of Rosario.
Lencina has been in prison since 2013 and has passed through several different provincial prisons during his incarceration, according to reports.