Two assailants fatally shot an Ecuadorian photojournalist who witnessed a theft in which police are the main suspects, Extra newspaper said Monday.

Byron Baldeon, 31, was killed Sunday evening, Extra managing editor Juan Manuel Yepez told Efe.

Witnesses said Baldeon was shot by two men on a motorcycle as he arrived at his home in El Triunfo, 61 kilometers from the coastal metropolis of Guayaquil, according to a statement from the organization Fundamedios.

An autopsy showed the freelance photographer was shot nine times at close range, Extra editor-in-chief Henry Holguin said.

Yepez said Baldeon had been subpoenaed by prosecutors in connection with a photo he took of the theft of a container-load of televisions.

Three police officers and two civilians were arrested in May on suspicion of carrying out the heist, Fundamedios noted.

The Extra managing editor stressed that there was nothing to confirm any connection between the theft and Baldeon's murder.

"It would be speculating for me to venture to say it was because of that, and I couldn't say that," Yepez insisted. EFE