A prominent politician from Spain's governing People's party was shot and killed on Monday, May 12, as she was crossing a footbridge over the Bernesga river in the northern Spanish city of León, the Guardian reported.
Isabel Carrasco, 59, who led the provincial government in León, was shot several times in broad daylight as she walked the short distance from her home to the local party headquarters, said Ramiro Ruiz Medrano, the central government's representative in the region.
Witnesses heard several shots just after 5pm. "We thought they were firecrackers," one man told El País. "At that time the area is full of people, kids playing and lots of people walking their dogs."
Police have arrested a woman, 55, and her daughter, 35, said Ruiz Medrano, adding that they are the wife and child of a police inspector from the nearby town of Astorga. A source at Spain's ministry of the interior dismissed suggestions that the killing was politically motivated, saying instead that the daughter had been recently let go from her job at the provincial government and "a personal grudge" may have played a role.
The killing came in the final weeks of campaigning before the European Parliament elections on May 25. As news of Carrasco's death spread across the country, political rallies held moments of silence and cancelled their campaign acts for the rest of the day.
The region has declared three days of mourning for Carrasco, a career civil servant who became head of the provincial government in León in 2007 and who the Diario de León noted was "the most powerful woman in León during the last decade."
Residents and local politicians gathered at the crime scene to pay their respects, many of them expressing shock at a level of violence not seen since the Basque separatist group Eta declared an end to its armed activity in 2011, turning the page on nearly four decades of high-profile assassinations.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who reportedly was traveling to León on Monday night, released a statement slamming what he called a "vile" act.
"Along with my most firm condemnation, I want to highlight that the forces and security bodies of the state, as well as the implicated administrations, have been working since the first moments to clarify the circumstances of this miserable crime and bring its author or authors to justice," he said.