MIAMI (AFP) - The 17-year-old son of the Canadian consul-general in Miami was shot dead in a dispute with drug dealers, police said on Wednesday.
Mr Jean Wabafiyebazu was killed in the fatal shootout on Monday and his brother Marc, 15, was later arrested for involvement in what appeared to be a marijuana deal gone awry, a spokesman for the Miami police told AFP.
A suspected drug dealer was also killed in the episode, which police believe unfolded after the brothers entered a house in a Miami residential neighbourhood armed.
“That’s what we believe, it was a dispute over a drug transaction,” Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes told the Miami Herald.
The boys are the sons of Ms Roxanne Dube, Canada’s consul-general in Miami, a seasoned diplomat who was appointed to the post in November.
The US and Canadian authorities are cooperating in the investigation, which is being carried out by Miami’s homicide unit, the spokesman said.
The boys’ father Germano Wabafiyebazu, who is separated from their mother, told Canadian media that his eldest son had been hanging around “some seedy people” and had troubles with drugs.
But he added he never imagined it would come to this.
“I’m shattered,” he told public broadcaster Radio-Canada. “And I think about their mother out there in Miami dealing with this.”
Mr John Babcock, spokesman for Canada’s Foreign Ministry, said it was “aware of reports of a serious incident involving a Canadian family in Miami” and was offering assistance to the family.
He noted that family members of consular officials “have no criminal immunity,” unlike diplomats and their families, who have full immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of host states.
Ms Dube’s youngest son could face a murder charge under Florida law, because of his involvement in a deadly, violent felony.
Another of the alleged drug dealers was wounded and later arrested.