Pembroke teacher shot during Honduras carjacking
An Ottawa Valley educator working in Honduras was shot Friday night during a wild carjacking and shootout that has left him in a medically-induced coma.
Dennis Spencer, 58, was exiting a restaurant in the northern city of San Pedro Sula when he was seized at gunpoint and told to drive his gray Isuzu D-MAX, according to family and local media reports.
The Pembroke native's vehicle was chased by a Toyota pick-up truck that opened fire near a gas station.
Spencer was shot in the upper body, according to reports, leaving bone fragments in his brain. He remains in critical but stable condition in the coma at a local hospital.
Two rival criminal gangs were likely responsible for the exchange, La Tribuna newspaper reported Sunday.
Spencer has been principal of Escuela Internacional La Lima for the past four years, his family told CTV Ottawa.
The English-language school near San Pedro Sula teaches about 300 students, mostly Honduran nationals. It was founded in 1930 by a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company and is about 180 kilometres from the capital of Tegucigalpa.
Spencer has more than 35 years of teaching experience and holds a master's degree in educational administration. He taught at seven Ontario schools and spent two years in Mexico before going to Honduras.
Two police officers were also shot during the incident. According to Tiempo, a local newspaper, three suspects potentially escaped with gunshot wounds.
Police found an AK-47 and two ammunition clips at the scene. The Isuzu was left riddled with bulelt holes and broken windows.
Police also detained the 38-year-old owner of the Toyota truck. He claimed innocence, saying a number of shooters were attempting to either kidnap him or steal the vehicle, Tiempo reported.