Olympian Alex Quinonez shot dead in Ecuador: Reports

A 32-year-old Olympic sprinter from Ecuador was shot dead Friday night.

The Associated Press reports that Alex Quinonez, who raced against Usain Bolt in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, was killed in a shooting in the northwest section of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The shooting also left another man dead, according to reports.

As of Sunday morning, authorities had still not announced an arrest in connection with the incident.

What we know

Many of the details surrounding the shooting remain unclear. An investigation is currently underway, but the circumstances that led to the incident have not been revealed, nor has the identity of the individual or individuals responsible.

We do know that Guayaquil has been one of many cities in Ecuador that has struggled in recent months to get its criminal activity under control. Drugs — and the violence that comes with them — have been especially bad in Guayaquil.

Drug wars have also reportedly led to several revolts in Ecuadorian prisons, and hundreds of prisoners have been killed by rival gangs, including some with ties to Mexican cartels, the AP reports.

Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador’s president, recently declared a state of emergency, dispatching law enforcement to the streets in order to protect citizens amid the violence.

Following Quinonez’s death, Lasso released a statement saying that the killing “will not go unpunished,” according to the AP.

Leaving a legacy

Reports indicated Quinonez was something of a national hero in Ecuador as a result of his appearance in the 2012 Games. In his race against Jamaica’s Bolt, Quinonez took seventh place.

This wasn’t the end of his career, though — far from it. In 2019, Quinonez won the bronze medal in the 200-meter event at the world championship in Doha, Qatar, the AP reported.

Andrea Sotomayor, the secretary general of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, released a statement on Twitter following reports of the star sprinter’s death expressing his anguish and condemning all the “evil.”

“I don’t have words to express the sadness, helplessness, and indignation that is overwhelming me,” Sotomayor wrote, according to the AP. “Alex Quinonez was the synonym of humility and a clear example of resilience. His loss leaves us with pain in our chests.”

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