Rubén Costas, Governor of the state of Santa Cruz, Bolivia was shot this morning after attempting to stop a mugging. According to local news sources, the governor witnessed the mugging of a woman whose purse was taken from her at gunpoint by 2 delinquents on a motorcycle. The governor, who was in his vehicle, pursued the motorcycle, which in turn shot at his vehicle 3 times. One of the shots grazed his temple, causing a 6-7 cm. gash.
The shooting took place at the corner of Monseñor Santistevan and Mendoza streets at about 10:00 a.m. in full view of several witnesses, one of which was a security guard at the nearby Banco Nacional de Bolivia, located on the same corner as the Espiritu Santo School. This corner is located one block from Plazuela Blacutt and just three blocks North of the movie multiplex CineCenter.
According to eye witnesses (the bank security guard, two pedestrians, one person who was standing on his 2nd story balcony, and a seller at a candy kiosk) the woman attacked was riding a motorcycle. A second motorcycle, ridden by two men, one in a red shirt, intercepted her. The mugger held her at gunpoint and demanded her purse, which she gave him. The mugger then drove off with the purse. The woman righted her motorcycle and also drove off.
This was witnessed by Governor Ruben Costas Aguilera, who was approaching the scene in his vehicle at the time it happened. He immediately began to pursue the mugger's motorcycle. The mugger shot the Governor's vehicle three times. One shot entered the vehicle, a second shot did not hit the vehicle (the bullet has not yet been located) and the third shot grazed his left temple.
Security cameras from an apartment building on the corner caught a portion of the pursuit, which shows the motorcycle passing by first, then the governor's vehicle in chase. Shots are heard and two pedestrians, also within the view of the camera, are seen turning in a surprised fashion. Seconds later, the mugger's motorcycle is seen returning alone down Monseñor Santistevan, contrary to traffic.
Witnesses further state that the governor then exited the car by himself and was still conscious at the time. He was taken to the Foianini Clinic, just three blocks away, where he was immediately bandaged and will remain under observation.
The identity of the woman whose purse was stolen is as yet unknown and police are asking the woman via local TV stations to please go to the police station to make a statement. See our update to this news story.
Source: local news station PAT.