Local April 30, 2014 | 9:49 am

Latest murders stoke fear of spreading contract killings

Santo Domingo.- Several of the killings reported in the last few days are likely not the work of common thugs, which often occur during assaults or gang turf wars.

At least five of the latest crimes that have claimed the lives of two men and three women could well be labeled as contract killings because the killers traveling in motor vehicles haven’t taken the victims’ belongings, ruling out robbery and reveal premeditation.

The killings, many of which go unsolved, also seem to spread nationwide.

The latest victim was a Public Health Ministry midlevel official, gunned down as he was about to drop off his niece at school Tuesday, by gunmen who fled the scene on a motorcycle.

José Francisco Durán, 43, was shot and killed 7:10am at the Luperón sector inside a pickup truck. He was hit by 9 of the 16 bullets fired at him.

Unofficial sources say Duran testified as a witness in a 2010 murder trial.

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