Five dead, five in critical condition after drive-by shooting

Five people lost their lives and five others cling to life after a brazen drive-by shooting ripped through a streetside bar in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, on Monday night. Authorities suspect the attack, which targeted a suspected drug dealer, could be another grim sign of escalating drug-related violence on the island.

“Unidentified individuals in a moving vehicle opened fire,” a police statement confirmed, leaving a scene of chaos and heartbreak. Two men and two women were pronounced dead at the scene, while three women and two men were rushed to local hospitals in critical condition. Among the critically injured is the brother of the former mayor of the nearby coastal town of CataƱo.

Investigations suggest the primary target was a 35-year-old man believed to be involved in drug trafficking. He was among the fatalities. No arrests have been made as of yet.

This incident has sent shockwaves through the community and fueled concerns about a potential surge in gun violence tied to the drug trade. With 74 killings reported already this year in Puerto Rico’s population of 3.2 million, the island is on track to surpass the number of homicides recorded in the same period last year. Just last month, another drug-related attack in Ceiba claimed the lives of four men and a teenager.

The Toa Baja shooting underscores the growing anxieties surrounding drug-fueled violence in Puerto Rico. Local authorities are actively investigating the incident and searching for the perpetrators.