Panamanian international defender Gilberto Hernandez was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Caribbean city of Colon, police said Monday.
Hernandez, who won two caps for Panama in March this year, including a friendly against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, died Sunday after shots were fired from a passing car, police said.
Six other people were injured in the shooting.
Crime rates in Colon, around 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Panama City, have surged in what authorities attribute to fighting between rival drug gangs.
Hernandez, 26, played for Panamanian side Club Atletico Independiente (CAI).
Police said Monday a suspect had been arrested in connection with the shooting following “a series of operations and search procedures” in Colon.
The Panamanian Football Federation (FEPAFUT) meanwhile paid tribute to Hernandez in a statement on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter.
“FEPAFUT extends its condolences to his family and loved ones, as well as to the entire CAI and Panamanian soccer family,” it said. “Peace to his soul.”