Eighteen people, among them a U.S. military veteran, were murdered last weekend in Puerto Rico, raising the murder count on the island so far this year to 595, police said Monday.
The death count included a triple murder that occurred last Friday in the San Juan suburb of Caguas, authorities said.
The victims were identified as Kelvin Ramos del Valle, 18; Oscar Carrasquillo Figueroa, 26; and Cristian de Jesus Egea, a 31-year-old veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Several people were wounded in the shootout and police identified them as Luis Polo Oyola, Abimelet Cotto Torres and Alberto Vazquez Carrasquillo.
Three armed men wearing masks and bullet-proof vests got out of a vehicle and began firing at the people who were gathered near a business, according to authorities.
The 595 murders so far this year in the U.S. commonwealth is more than 100 fewer than had occurred by this time last year, when the death count stood at 708.