PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — An American citizen who worked for the Department of Homeland Security has been shot to death during a home invasion, his friends and officials said Sunday.
Ronald Chery, a Haitian-American who worked as a fraud officer in the Miami DHS office, died during the robbery on Friday, said a spokesman for MINUSTAH, the UN-backed international police force in the country.
Chery was on a personal visit to a home in Petionville, one of the wealthier and safer suburbs of the country’s impoverished capital.
“He was down there with part of his family and he got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning in June to people visiting Haiti. At least two American citizens have been shot and killed this year while traveling in cars near the country’s main airport.
Details of Friday’s robbery were unclear. The Haitian National Police are in charge of the investigation and do not have publicly available reports on the case.
Parnell Duverger, a friend of Chery and a professor at Broward College in Florida, said a group of men arrived at Chery’s family home on Friday, and the housekeeper allowed them inside.
Chery tried talking to the men, Duverger said, and was shot. Chery’s mother and brother were tied up and beaten, he added.
“Ronald was well-known in the Haitian community in South Florida,” said Duverger. “Unfortunately these kinds of things occur a lot in Haiti. For a lot of us in the Haitian community, things like this just bring despair.”
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