New York City cathedral shooter ‘planned to take hostages’

Luis Vasquez allegedly wrote manifesto calling on US institutions to give money to Latin American countries

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 16 December 2020 15:11
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<p>Gunman was shot dead by police</p>

Gunman was shot dead by police

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A gunman who opened fire outside a New York cathedral on Sunday planned to take hostages in a bid to force the US government to give Latin American countries financial help, it has been reported.

Luis Vasquez, 52, is said to have written a manifesto outlining how he planned to snatch people outside the St John the Divine Cathedral after unloading his weapon at the end of a Christmas concert.

He is alleged to have written in the note that none of his hostages would get hurt unless government officials failed to grant his request of aid to countries less well off than America.

Vasquez, who was wearing a Dominican Republic flag face mask when he was shot dead by police after firing his gun, also wanted US companies and banks to give cash to Latin American countries who have been "robbed" by the US, according to the New York Daily News.

A police source told the publication: "He was doing it because of the way the United States treated the people of Latin America. He cited US banks. He cited corporations. He said, 'We need to seize their wealth and return it to the people of Latin America'".

He did not plan to survive the incident and did not want to return to the Bronx apartment where he lived with his mother, according to the police source.

Vasquez was shot in the head by NYPD officers after firing his gun while reportedly shouting "kill me, kill me!"He had a criminal history of six arrests, including one for attempted murder in August 1990.

Three officers fired 15 shots at Vasquez. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital. No one else was hurt during the shoot out.

The NYPD later tweeted out a picture of a bag found nearby that held a container of gasoline, rope, wire, multiple knives, a bible, and tape.“I think we can all surmise the ill intentions of the proceeds of this bag,” said New York City Police commissioner Dermot Shea.

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