A reported marijuana deal gone wrong resulted in gunfire, blood, and a tragedy that has struck the family of a high-ranking Canadian diplomat in the United States.
Canada’s top diplomat in Florida has lost her elder teenage son, while her younger one has been arrested in connection with a reported Miami drug deal that turned violent.
Roxanne Dube began her posting there as Canada’s consul general only six weeks ago.
“I’m in a very bad state,” said Germano Wabafiyebazu, the father of the two teens and her former partner, who lives in Ottawa. “Listen, to see an 18-year-old child who was suddenly killed. When someone is ill, you can gradually get used to the idea that there’s no hope, but this is a child in good health, so it’s a shock.”
Wabafiyebazu said he was advised by a family lawyer Wednesday to stop talking to the media about the incident or his sons. Media reports said the slain son was 17 and his brother 15.
Their mother arrived to her posting in Miami earlier this year, after having been appointed in November 2014 and having served as ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2005 to 2008.
Two people were killed during the incident — including Dube’s son, according to local media reports that said a fourth male was wounded and was later found at a gas station.
The diplomat’s car has been seized in the investigation, multiple sources say.
The boys drove their mother’s BMW to the scene of the crime, according to media reports. The younger son reportedly waited outside with the vehicle, which had diplomatic plates although it was not the official embassy car.
Meanwhile, gunfire broke out inside the adjacent apartment complex. The conflict began with what, according to local media, police suspect was a transaction involving two pounds of marijuana at a price of nearly $5,000 U.S.
One witness said he heard multiple gunshots from inside the yellow apartment complex on a quiet residential street.
“(I heard) six straight shots,” Alex Hernandez told the local ABC affiliate, and also told the local NBC station that he heard four more later outside the building.
“I saw some guy come out with a gun, some other guy behind him stumbling. He fell down, and some chick came out screaming.”
Another neighbour said she panicked, entered her house and locked the door.
News footage showed a pool of blood in the doorway of the apartment complex, located just south of Miami’s Little Havana.
The Canadian government says it’s providing consular services, which it generally would when there’s a death abroad — such as assistance with the repatriation of the body, and availability to attend court hearings if requested.
The boys’ former school in Ottawa has put in place support services for students upset by news of the incident. They attended Lycee Claudel in Ottawa — a diplomatic school, with primary- and secondary-level students that runs on the French-education system.
Both brothers attended the private school up until last year.
“Regardless of how many years they spent here with us, it’s a story that really affects us. And to die so young — it’s terrible. Obviously, we’re thinking about their family,” said the school principal, Pascale Garrec.