Haitian senator shoots two people, including journalist, outside parliament

A Haitian senator reportedly shot two men, including a photojournalist, outside the country’s parliament last Monday amid unrest in the nation.

Senator Jean Marie Ralph Féthière

Sen. Jean Marie Ralph Féthière opened fire while facing a throng of unruly protesters on the second day of failed attempts by the government to confirm the nomination of Fritz William Michel as the new prime minister.

The senators had left parliament without a vote.

Féthière allegedly had his gun drawn outside of the Port-au-Prince building and warned the crowd he would shoot if they didn’t let him leave, according to Senator Patrice Dumont.

The gunfire struck Associated Press photographer Chery Dieu-Nalio, who managed to snap a photo of the senator with his handgun drawn as he stood next to a vehicle.

Dieu-Nalio, who was wounded in the face by bullet fragments, was hospitalized and is expected to survive.

Another man, Leon Leblanc, a security guard and driver, also suffered non-life threatening injuries, the report said.

Protesters reportedly swarmed Haiti’s parliament Monday as part of a larger movement against Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and the government for a diminishing quality of life aided by a serious fuel shortage and the rising cost of living.

Féthière later explained his actions to Radio Mega, saying, “I was attacked by groups of violent militants. They tried to get me out of my vehicle. And so I defended myself. Self-defense is a sacred right.

“Armed individuals threatened me. It was proportional. Equal force, equal response.”