SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Two competitors in a Puerto Rico Ironman triathlon were injured by gunfire exchanged between occupants of two cars as they sped past the bicycling part of the Sunday event in an upscale area of the U.S. island’s capital.
Puerto Rico police identified the wounded competitors as Wisconsin woman Liz Boivin, 26, and island resident Miguel Arroyo Ramos, 49. Boivin was hit in the left calf while three bullets struck Arroyo in the left side while they raced on bicycles through the San Juan district of Miramar. The triathlon involves biking, running and swimming.
The Wisconsin woman and the Puerto Rico man were reported in stable condition at a local hospital. On her Facebook page, Boivin wrote that the shrapnel that struck her calf ”came out clean with no issues.” She said she was assisting Puerto Rico authorities with their investigation and she planned on racing at an upcoming athletic event in Boston.
The local field office of the FBI is assisting island police with the investigation and may take charge of the case soon, according to agency spokesman Moises Quinones.
Race organizers decided to continue the Puerto Rico triathlon competition following Sunday’s outbreak of violence.
”The San Juan police have indicated that this was an isolated incident, the race and athletes were not a target, and that the course is safe for the race to continue,” said an Ironman statement.
Police say a passenger inside one the two cars that were exchanging gunfire was killed. He has been identified as local man Jose Ramos Tapia and his body was found behind the wheel of the car where it crashed. The 25-year-old Ramos had recently been released from a prison stint for selling drugs in a public housing complex, according to El Nuevo Dia newspaper.
Occupants of the other car shot multiple bullets at a police patrol car as they sped toward the San Juan neighborhood of Rio Piedras. No officers were injured. The shooters’ car was later found abandoned.