Argentina shooting: Manhunt launched after British tourist is shot dead in front of son outside luxury hotel

Harry Cockburn
A police officer stands in front of the Faena Art Hotel in Buenos Aires, hours after Saturday's attack: AP

Argentine police have launched a manhunt after a British tourist was shot dead and another injured in a robbery in the country’s capital on Saturday.

The British embassy said one of the men was 50 and was the stepfather of the other man, a 28-year-old.

The older man was killed. He has been named locally as property developer Matthew Gibbard, but authorities are yet to confirm the name.

The attack, in broad daylight on a busy street, occurred as the father and son approached a luxury hotel in the waterfront Puerto Madero area of Buenos Aires.

A video of the attack published by Argentine newspaper Perfil shows a red car arriving at the scene, then the assailants are seen getting off a motorbike and attacking the men.

At least one of the victims appears to fight back against their attackers, before both men are shot.

The robbers then remount their motorbike and flee the scene alongside the red car.

In a statement reported by Argentine news agency Telam, officials said the assailants tried to steal the belongings of the tourists. The tourists attempted to resist. The 28-year-old was then shot in the thigh and his stepfather was shot in the chest. Both were taken to hospital.

Alberto Crescenti, head of Argentina’s emergency health care service, told Perfil the alert was received at 11.04am and upon arriving medics met a man “with an impact that had entered through his right armpit and had reached his chest”. He reportedly then suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at around 2pm.

The younger man suffered a bullet injury in the thigh, near the groin, narrowly missing the femoral artery. He remains in hospital, but is in a stable condition.

The 50-year-old man’s wife was also at the scene, along with the girlfriend of the 28-year-old, whose brother, or step-brother, was also present, according to Argentine tabloid newspaper Clarin.

Following the attack, authorities put in place measures to try to locate the two vehicles, and were going through CCTV footage of nearby buildings.

Police are now working to establish whether the men were targeted as part of an opportunist attack, or whether they had been followed by their assailants from the airport.

The hotel, part of the luxury Faena Group, released a statement expressing its “deepest condolences” and promising full support for the authorities carrying out the investigation.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of two British men following an incident in Buenos Aires, and are in contact with the local authorities there.”

More than 111,000 British nationals visited Argentina in 2018, the Foreign Office said, with most visits to the country being “trouble-free”.

But tourists have been warned to be alert to street crime, including armed robberies, and advised to hand over cash and valuables without resistance.

The Independent’s travel correspondent Simon Calder said the attack was an “awful tragedy” and has warned: “Unfortunately, like elsewhere in Latin America, there are criminals who will use violence if they need to.

“My advice is to run away if you can or hand over what they want.”