Moment lawyer shoots dead two environmental protesters blocking a road
In front of a large group of photographers and news crews covering the protest, Darlington walked up and said: 'This ends today.'
This is the shocking moment an American lawyer shot and killed two climate change protestors on a highway.
Kenneth Darlington, 77, was filmed approaching the protestors in Panama before shooting them with his handgun.
For weeks, protestors have been marching against a government agreement that plans to keep Panama’s largest open-pit copper mine operating for two more decades in a sensitive environmental area.
In front of a large group of photographers and news crews covering the protest, Darlington walked up and said: ‘This ends today.’
While waving his handgun around, Darlington knocked down a Panama flag that protestors had propped up between two traffic cones.
He had allegedly asked demonstrators to speak to the leaders of the protest but was told none were present.
Darlington then reportedly said: ‘I don’t want to talk to women. I want to speak to the men.’
The lawyer then dragged away a tire that the protestors had been using as a roadblock, before getting into a shouting match with three of the male demonstrators who approached him.
One of the men asked him: ‘Why don’t you shoot?’
Darlington then opened fire on the group of demonstrators – the first victim could be seen falling to the ground.
Victim Abdiel Díaz was pronounced dead at the scene, and the second victim Iván Rodríguez was rushed to hospital where he later died.
After killing the two men, Darlington sauntered back to his car, where one passenger allegedly asked him: ‘Do you know what you just did?’
He replied: ‘Yes, I killed one and shot another. Let’s go.’
His girlfriend, who was waiting in the car, reportedly refused to let him leave and called the police, according to local media.
Darlington was subsequently arrested and appeared before a judge yesterday after being charged with murder and illegal possession of a gun.
The Panama-born US citizen lived in the high-end Paitilla district of Panama City and had been ‘running errands’ when he came across the protestors.
Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo said in a statement on X: ‘I express my condolences to the families of the two citizens who lost their lives in an incident that occurred this Tuesday in a sector of Panama Oeste.
‘This is a crime that has no place in a society called to be supportive like ours.’
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