Alfredo Pacheco, a former top soccer player for El Salvador, has been shot to death, authorities said.
Pacheco, whose career included a spell at the New York Red Bulls, was shot early on Sunday at a gas station in Santa Ana, his hometown in northwestern El Salvador, officials said.
Two other people who were speaking to him at the time of the shooting were wounded, according to police.
The 33-year-old defender was El Salvador’s most capped player but his career was plunged into ignominy in 2013 when the Salvadorean Football Federation banned him and 12 other players for life for match-fixing.
Pacheco played for several top clubs in El Salvador and also spent a season on loan at the New York Red Bulls, for whom he made 14 appearances in 2009.
The U.S. team offered its condolences to Pacheco’s family and friends on Sunday.
The Salvadorean Soccer Federation also paid tribute to the player, saying it shared the pain and offered prayers to his family.
This year has been the deadliest on record for El Salvador, with 6,500 murders. The country experiences an average of 17 murders a day, according to police, who attribute the violence to gangs.
Other Central American nations are also plagued by rampant violent crime.
Earlier this month, Honduras national team soccer player Arnold Peralta was shot to death while on vacation in his home country, which was ranked as having the world’s highest murder rate by a U.N. report last year.
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