The son of former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo and three other young men were shot dead allegedly by gunmen on early Thursday as they were leaving a nightclub in the country's capital, authorities confirmed. Said Lobo Bonilla, 23, and three other men were leaving the nightclub when at least five gunmen drove into the parking lot and killed them in execution style.
Chilling surveillance came footage shows gunmen armed with MS-13 getting down from SUVs in front of a parking lot before pulling Bonilla and the three men out of two vehicles and firing at them. One of the attackers appeared to have been hurt and had to be loaded into their vehicle as they escaped.
The chilling surveillance camera footage shows five armed men pulling up to the front of a parking lot exit ramp and running into the building. Bonilla and the three other men were leaving the nightclub at that time and were just about to drive away.
The gunmen, who can be seen wearing vests from a police anti-gang squad, then drag the four men out of the two SUVs. Bonilla, Luis Zelaya, 23, the nephew of SalomÃ³n VÃ¡squez, the former defense minister of Honduras, and Norlan Rodrguez, Bonilla's chauffeur and security guard, were told to stand facing a wall before they were executed.
The four people were all shot in the head, according to the Honduran newspaper La Prensa. Lorena CÃ¡lix, the spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office, confirmed the death of Lobo Bonilla and Zelaya.
"The murder of four youths, including a son of former president Porfirio Lobo Sosa, is attributed to members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The intention is to cause chaos, instability and terror," National Police director Gustavo SÃ¡nchez said.
The incident happened at 02:00 local time at the exit of the parking lot of the Torre Morazan building, in whose walls there were several shots. The two vans in which the victims were traveling were left abandoned at the exit of the building's parking lot.
"I couldn't see my son, but these are things that hurt," former President Lobo said at the murder scene. "My son is hanging out with some friends. We don't know if it was ordered or what."
Additional video footage showed the attackers racing out of the parking lot toward their pickup truck while donning what seemed to be police anti-gang team vests before one of them appeared to be shot.
Later, an armed person fled to aid his wounded accomplice and drags him away.
Police were also seen searching local hospitals for the wounded shooter.
According to Gustavo SÃ¡nchez, director of the national police, authorities won't stop looking for individuals responsible for the deaths and those who gave the orders. "We are investigating," SÃ¡nchez said, adding that authorities are looking into "the clothing the criminals were wearing."
"I don't know what is going on, but what I do know is that the people who committed this murder are quite trained people; they are not rookies," Lobo said.
He also said that his 19-year-old youngest son Luis escaped being killed because he was operating another vehicle. Julissa Villanueva, vice minister of security for Honduras, suggested that the killings were an effort by criminal organizations to weaken the security apparatus.
Honduras President Xiomara Castro expressed solidarity with former President Lobo and his wife Rosa Bonilla, as well as the families of the other victims. "I condemn death squads that have operated for years in Honduras with impunity," she wrote on Twitter. "We won't rest until we dismantle them."
The United States said last year that he would no longer be permitted to enter the nation on allegations that the former president accepted bribes from drug traffickers in exchange for political favors.
Rosa Bonilla was found guilty in March of embezzling almost $1 million from the government while her husband was in office. She asked for and was granted a special release on Thursday so she could attend her son's funeral.