By Aglaia Staff

Monica Spear, a popular soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela, and her ex-husband were shot and killed in the mountains of western Venezuela. Their young daughter was wounded in the incident, during which the couple had resisted robbers by locking the doors of their broken-down car. The slayings have called attention to the rampant violent crime in the oil-rich country.

Police have launched a investigation into the killing, which happened on the highway leading from Valencia to Puerto Cabello.

 

Ms Spear and Mr Berry were travelling at night from the city of Merida to the capital, Caracas, when they hit a sharp object “placed on the road”, according to Venezuela’s investigative police chief Jose Gregorio Sierralta.

At least two of the four tyres were punctured, he said.

The couple and their daughter waited for about 45 minutes for breakdown assistance, reported El Universal newspaper.

The car was about to be towed away when a group of five people approached and ordered them to stop.

The couple and their daughter reportedly ran back and hid inside the car but were shot at by the gang.

Ms Spear and Mr Berry died instantly. Their daughter, Maya, was shot in the leg.

‘Iron fist’

Initial reports said Mr Berry was Irish. But the British Foreign Office has now confirmed he was a British national, who reportedly moved to Venezuela as a child.

The couple lived in the United States and were in Venezuela on holiday.

Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Armed robberies and kidnappings are not unusual, but the death of Ms Spear has had huge impact in the country.

President Nicolas Maduro has promised to respond with “an iron fist” to those who continue to attack the Venezuelan people.

He expressed his condolences and said: “We were evaluating the cruelty with which the suspects acted. Violence is an evil that we have.”

He added: “There will be no tolerance to those who carry out acts like that, killing decent men and women, who have a right to live.”

The opposition leader and defeated presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, posted a message on his Twitter account calling for a nationwide drive against violence.

“Nicolas Maduro, I suggest we put aside our deep differences and get together to fight the lack of security, as one bloc,” he wrote.

Hours later, Mr Maduro invited Mr Capriles to join all state governors and the mayors of the 79 municipalities for an emergency meeting later today.

 

 Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear Slain
share save 171 16 Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear Slain