Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack on his private residence, a country official said Wednesday.
The country's first lady, Martine Moïse, was shot in the overnight attack and has been hospitalized. The country of over 11 million people had grown increasingly unstable under Moïse, according to the Associated Press.
The 53-year-old Moïse ruled by decree for over two years after the country failed to hold elections. Critics demanded in recent months that he resign.
Interim Premier Claude Joseph said the country’s security situation is under the control of the National Police of Haiti and the Armed Forces of Haiti, the wire service also reports.
"Democracy and the republic will win," he also said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN: "It’s a horrific crime, and we’re so sorry for the loss that they are all suffering and going through as many of them are waking up this morning and hearing this news. And we stand ready and stand by them to provide any assistance that’s needed."