Officials said that two alleged drug traffickers were killed early on Sunday in a confrontation with federal investigators off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico.
A pursuit began after police saw a suspicious boat at sea just after midnight, according to Jeffrey Quinones, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who talked to The Associated Press.
According to Quinones, the pursuit came to an end when the alleged drug dealers fired at the federal officers, who in turn fired back. He said that four of the six individuals onboard had been apprehended and two had been murdered. Not a single federal agent was hurt.
Quinones said that narcotics had been discovered on the boat and in the sea, but no other information was immediately available.
He added it was unknown what country the individuals were from.
Two months have passed since a shooting off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico resulted in the deaths of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent and a suspected drug smuggler. Two other agents were hurt in that event and sent to the hospital.
The most recent tragic shooting is being looked into by the FBI. A message left for a spokesperson seeking comment was not immediately returned.
A common transit location for narcotics from South America is Puerto Rico. Agents confiscated $9 million worth of goods on a boat during a regular cargo check in the city of San Juan in December, and $26 million worth of cocaine near the island of Vieques in October.