Olympic Sprinter Alex Quiñónez, 32, Fatally Shot in Ecuador

·1 min read
Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador celebrates bronze in the Men’s 200 Metres final during day five of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 01, 2019 in Doha, Qatar
Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador celebrates bronze in the Men’s 200 Metres final during day five of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 01, 2019 in Doha, Qatar

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty

Champion sprinter Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador was fatally shot in Guayanquil, police announced Saturday. He was 32.

Quiñónez and another man were killed in the northwest part of the city on Friday night around 9:20 p.m., El Universo reported. According to the newspaper, the assailants were allegedly dressed similarly to law enforcement, arrived in a vehicle, and fired the fatal shots, police say.

Authorities responded, and an investigation is ongoing, per El Universo. No arrests have been reported at this time.

"It is with deep pain that we confirm that our athlete Alex Quiñónez was murdered in the city of Guayaquil," Ecuador's Ministry of Sports confirmed in a statement shared to Twitter Saturday. "Father, husband, son and the best sprinter in the history of our country."

Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador competes in the Men's 200 Metres heats during day three of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador competes in the Men's 200 Metres heats during day three of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

Patrick Smith/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Quiñónez was celebrated as a "national hero" in 2012, during the 200m final of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, after finishing seventh in an event won by Usain Bolt, the Associated Press reported. The sprinter also won bronze in the 200m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Bronze medalist Alex Quinonez of Ecuador during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar, 02 October 2019. Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships, Qatar - 02 Oct 2019
Bronze medalist Alex Quinonez of Ecuador during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar, 02 October 2019. Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships, Qatar - 02 Oct 2019

ALI HAIDER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In July, the runner was suspended ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics amid anti-doping whereabouts failures, per Reuters.

Commenting on the news of his death, Ecuadorean president Guillermo Lasso said in a statement that the tragedy "will not go unpunished" and that authorities "will act forcefully" in seeking justice for Quiñónez.

Last week, Lasso declared a 60-day state of emergency in Ecuador due to a rise in crime related to drug trafficking, Reuters reported.