intermoorCARACAS (Dow Jones)–A U.S. citizen working for Houston-based oil services company InterMoor Inc. was shot and killed while on assignment in Venezuela on Jan. 27, the local attorney general’s office said Monday.

Craig Dwayne Cormier, 36, along with a coworker, was caught in crossfire and shot in the head while on a boardwalk in the eastern state of Sucre, Venezuelan authorities said in a statement.

Officials said the man who open fired on a group of people, killing Cormier, has been arrested.

Violent street crime is rampant in Venezuela, which according to the nonprofit Venezuelan Violence Observatory posted a record number of homicides last year with at least 19,336 people killed. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has said that the murder rate has more than doubled in the nearly 13 years since President Hugo Chavez took over. It remains a hot topic ahead of the October presidential election.

The attorney general’s office said Cormier had arrived in Venezuela just two days before the shooting to repair a boat named Turquoise, which serves an offshore oil rig owned by state oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA. An InterMoor spokesman wasn’t available for comment when the office was reached after business hours.

InterMoor is part of the Acteon group of companies, which provide oil and gas field services.

-Kejal Vyas, Dow Jones Newswires

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