El Salvador’s most-capped football player Alfredo Pacheco has been shot dead at a petrol station, authorities have said.
The 33-year-old, who was banned for life for match-fixing in 2013, was with a group of friends chatting in the petrol station when an unknown assailant shot at the group several times.
Two friends who were travelling with Pacheco were hurt in the attack, which took place in Santa Ana, 66km west of the capital San Salvador.
“The attorney general’s office in Santa Ana processed the crime scene of the murder of Alfredo Pacheco at 3.30am in a petrol station,” an official said.
Pacheco was a defender who played for the Salvadoran clubs Club Deportivo FAS and Asociacion Deportiva Isidro Metapan. He also played for the New York Red Bulls in the US.
Pacheco earned 86 caps for his country, making him the player with the most caps for the national squad.
But he was banned from the sport by the Salvadoran soccer federation in September 2013 when it was found he had been involved in match fixing.
El Salvador has seen its murder rate rocket this year, with homicides up 55% compared with last year. So far this year, there have been 6,068 murders, according to police data.
Earlier this month, Honduran international footballer and former Rangers star Arnold Peralta was murdered in a drive-by shooting in his hometown.
A post-mortem examination showed Peralta died from “multiple gunshot wounds to the skull, face and chest”.
Police are still hunting the killers.