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Olympian’s mother killed by a stray bullet

Olympian’s mother killed by a stray bullet

Olympian’s mother killed by a stray bullet

The mother of a Puerto Rican Olympian was killed by a stray bullet while doing stitches at her Connecticut home over the weekend, according to the athlete and police.

Police believe Mabel Martinez, 56, was an innocent bystander and the intended target appeared to be a man walking outside her home in the town of Waterbury. He was injured in the leg and survived. No arrests have been announced.

Mabel Martinez was the mother of Yarimar Mercado Martinez, a rifleman on the Puerto Rico Olympic team who competed in last year’s and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Mabel Martinez died on Sunday after being shot in the head on Saturday afternoon, police said.

Mercado Martinez, 27, expressed her fear Social Media Posts.

“Why you? Why this way? You just sat in your little house and sewed like you always did,” she wrote in Spanish.

“Two days ago you called me excitedly and asked me to save the date and help you prepare to renew your vows with daddy in Puerto Rico,” she said Sunday. “There are so many things I still had to learn from you… I was so far away without being able to do anything, I couldn’t even say goodbye to you.”

She wrote that the family intends to take her mother’s body to Puerto Rico “so that her friends and family can say goodbye.”

“My apologies to Puerto Rico because even if I wanted to I really can’t compete, my place is with my family,” she wrote.

A message asking for comment was left for Mercado Martinez on Monday.

The athlete flew out of Brazil late Sunday and has arrived in Connecticut, according to Gilberto Hernandez, president of the Puerto Rico Shooting Association, the sport’s governing body on U.S. territory.

Hernandez said it was not clear when the body would arrive in Puerto Rico for burial, adding that the shooting club would pay a portion of the funeral expenses.

“We have faith that she will overcome that,” he told the Associated Press. “She can count on us. … The club’s doors are always open.”

Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said investigators believe the shooting was drug-related and had nothing to do with Mabel Martinez.

“It was definitely an accidental, tragic act of violence,” he told the AP. “She was at her house. She is not the intended target.”

Spagnolo said the relatives were extremely distressed, including Mabel Martinez’s husband, whom he described as heartbroken.

He said the investigation had been “very, very active” since Saturday.


AP journalist Danica Coto contributed to this report from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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