Crime has once again surged to the forefront in Puerto Rico with the murder of a prominent doctor after a minor traffic accident.

Puerto Ricans were shocked at the news of the murder of Dr. Carlos Pedraza, 53, who died on the weekend after being mortally wounded by the driver of another vehicle after a fender-bender involving the two men.

The director of the Western Regional Police, Col. Leovigildo Vazquez, said Monday that the presumed murderer, Carlos Nieves, was arrested and is being held on bond of $3.5 million.

He said that the vehicle of the 29-year-old criminal collided with the physician's car and that when the two men got out to examine the damage, Pedraza insisted on calling the police, whereupon Nieves pulled out a pistol and shot him twice.

Vazquez said that a warrant had already been issued for Nieves for domestic violence and a drug case and that he may have shot Pedraza to prevent him from calling the police.

The doctor's death coincides with the news of an assault on former Sen. Rolando Silva inside his San Juan home.

The former lawmaker was slightly injured in the face and shoulder while the attacker, identified as a 42-year-old vagrant, was arrested after he left Silva's home.

The list of violent deaths in Puerto Rico on the weekend includes a shooting in which one man was killed and another wounded in Ciales, a town in the island's interior, an incident that police say could have been a settling of scores between criminal outfits. EFE