The Dominican Republic shooting of a Canadian man in front of a group of students, visiting the country on a humanitarian trip was reported by authorities.
According to witnesses the foreigners were in their room late at night, when robbers forced their way in, kicking the door and demanded their valuables including money and cameras.
“The landlord heard noises and interrupted the thing. He got into a fight with them and they shot him,” said Alain Laberge, superintendent of the Division Scolaire Franco-Maintobaine.
Three or four shots were fired, but it is not known if the landlord was struck by one or more of them.
The group visiting Dominica Republic was made of 18 students and eight teachers and chaperones, of whom none were injured in the attempted robbery.
Laberge said the group arrived without incident in New York Friday night, where they shared a cell phone to call home and tell their families they were alright.
The students, belong to two high schools in the Canadian province of Manitoba, and were in the Dominican Republic in a week-long humanitarian mission.
The group had just arrived in the coastal city of Puerto Plata and were scheduled to remain there until February 6 helping an orphanage and school for girls ages five to 17-years-old.
The building in which the students were staying was a large home divided into several suites, which accommodated four or five students at a time.
Even though the building has security guards, the thugs broke into one of the rooms and threatened the students on Friday at 1 am.
Teachers in charge of the group immediately contacted the high schools and Laberge, who said the schools have been making the visit to the same place for the last four years and their trips date back at least 10-years.
Dominican Republic police confirmed Saturday that a Canadian who has permanent residency in the country was shot in a violent break-in, a day after the group of students had arrived in the country.
Captain José Callado told CBC News the victim owns a hostel, condo, and hotel complex where the students were staying.
Additionally, Callado said the victim was in critical, but stable conditions and police were seeking two suspects.
“You could go to an outing here in Winnipeg and something like this could happen,” Laberge said on Saturday puttin in doubt if the trip will take place again.”You never know. So we never want to say we’ll never do that again, but we have to see what happened.”
Relieved families welcomed the students back home from the traumatic trip to the Dominican Republic and are asking for privacy. The high schools will have counselors available.