Conflicting reports about the incident involving two US embassy staff in Venezuela may finally lay bare a scandal as the two officials were reportedly shot after a brawl at a strip club.
The Venezuelan police and the US State Department confirmed the shooting, which took place early Tuesday, but the details of the incident are still unclear with different reports over whether it took place outside or inside the Antonella 2012 nightclub.
State Department official Patrick Ventrell said that the incident occurred in “some sort of social spot or somewhere outside of the embassy grounds.”
“I am not sure if it was a restaurant, or a nightclub, or what the actual establishment was, but that is why we are in touch with embassy personnel,” he added.
A Venezuelan police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to reporters, identified one of the victims as military attaché Roberto Ezequiel Rosas. She did not provide details about the other man.
An Associated Press reporter who had gone to the scene said he had not seen any obvious signs of a shooting outside the place. The AP identified the place as a strip club.
Uri Friedman wrote in the website of Foreign Policy that “a year after the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia, a new scandal involving US officials may be brewing in Venezuela.”
He was referring to a scandal early last year when a dozen US Secret Service members who were on a mission before President Barack Obama’s visit to the Colombian city of Cartagena were accused of misconduct for bringing women, some of them prostitutes, to their hotel rooms.