Haitian president reportedly spent 10 minutes frantically calling for help before assassination

Mural of Jovenel Moïse.
(Image credit: VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)

As the investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse continues, new details reported by The Miami Herald shed a chilling light on the president's final moments and frantic cries for help.

At 1:34 a.m. on July 7, the night he was killed, Moïse reportedly called the Haitian National Police commissioner and said, "They are shooting by my house." "Mobilize people," he added, per the Herald. Gunfire had begun just minutes before.

Moïse then spent 10 minutes desperately requesting backup, the Herald writes. "With no sign of his security forces," Moïse made another call to a "tactically trained officer" with the Haiti National Police and exclaimed, "I need your assistance, now!" "My life is in danger. Come quick; come save my life," he reportedly said.

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But the foreign mercenaries had already come inside Moïse's residence and gone straight to his room, while "talking to someone on the phone to identify the president," said the officer Moïse spoke with. Once the target's identity was confirmed, the shooter allegedly "turned to face the president and shot him without any conversation," per the Herald.

When national police officers arrived on the scene shortly after 2 a.m., they found Moïse's wife, Martine, wounded in the hallway in front of the bedroom door. She later maintained that although the president was hit with "as many as 12 gunshot wounds," "he was killed almost immediately," the Herald writes.

"This never should have happened with the presidential guard," said the officer, who also reportedly added that "he's always been concerned about weaknesses in the president's security detail."

On Monday, Haiti's interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph agreed to step down and hand power over to Ariel Henry, his "challenger who has been backed by the international community," reports The Washington Post.

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Brigid Kennedy

Brigid is a staff writer at The Week and a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her passions include improv comedy, David Fincher films, and breakfast food. She lives in New York.