GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – Ecuadorian sprinter Alex Quiñónez was fatally shot in the port city of Guayaquil, police said on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Quiñónez became a national hero in 2012 when he reached the 200m final at the London Games and finished seventh in a race won by Usain Bolt.
The Guayaquil-based El Universo newspaper reported that Quiñónez was fatally shot and killed on Friday around 9:20 pm on a street in the northwest of the city, and that another man was also killed.
There were no immediate reports of arrests.
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso promised in a statement on Saturday that the assassination “will not go unpunished”.
Quiñónez’s death was also confirmed by the Olympic Committee of the Olympic Committee of Ecuador on Saturday. The circumstances of his death are “not yet clear,” it said.
Quiñónez won bronze in the 200cc at the 2019 World Cup in Doha.
Andrea Sotomayor, General Secretary of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, expressed her sadness and indignation on Twitter and condemned “so much evil”.
“I have no words to express the sadness, helplessness and indignation that overwhelms me,” wrote Sotomayor, who was former sports minister. “Álex Quiñónez was synonymous with humility and a clear example of resilience. Its loss leaves us with chest pain. “
Guayaquil and other parts of Ecuador have high crime rates. This month, Lasso declared a state of emergency to counter drug trafficking and other crimes in Ecuador, and said the military and police will take to the streets to ensure safety.
That year, drug-related revolts erupted in prisons across the country, particularly in Guayaquil, which resulted in massacres by inmates of rival gangs affiliated with Mexican drug cartels. About 230 people were killed in these compounds.