RETIRED US lawyer Kenneth Darlington has been named as the gunman accused of killing two protesters in Panama.
Shocking photos show a grey-haired pensioner calmly getting out of his car before gunning down the anti-mining demonstrators in broad daylight on Tuesday.
Cops arrested the shooter by the road and he was later seen seated with one hand cuffed to a pipe under police supervision.
Darlington, 77, was named as the shooter as he appeared in court on Wednesday.
The lawyer and professor, who holds dual citizenship in the US and Panama, was arrested for murder and illegal possession of a gun, TVN Noticias reported.
One of the victims, Abdiel Díaz, a teacher, died at the scene.
Iván Rodríguez, 62, was taken to the nearest hospital but was dead before he arrived.
A third man was also injured and is in hospital.
Wearing a grey open shirt and glasses, Darlington was pictured confronting the demonstrators and firing at close range in front of horrified witnesses after being held in traffic.
The protesters – believed to all be a group of teachers – were blocking the Pan-American Highway that links Panama to the rest of Central America.
Footage of the attack shows a man in a black t-shirt getting into a heated argument with the gun-wielding driver before the camera cuts and he is seen on the floor lifeless.
A second man then gets shot after confronting him and is shown hobbling away to the side of the road as other protesters run for cover.
He is then shown a few seconds later slumping to the floor.
According to reports, Darlington was annoyed at being stuck in traffic and decided to walk up to the barricade and speak to the leader of the protest.
Darlington, who was born in Panama, was attempting to drive home after a day in the city of La Chorrera.
He reportedly said: “I don’t want to talk to women. I want to speak to the men.”
After a short conversation – in which he waved his gun around – he allegedly shot dead the two men.
He then allegedly declared: “That ends that problem.”
After the shooting he is said to have returned to his car where two women were waiting inside.
TVN reported Darlington climbed into the car and told the shocked women that he “killed one and shot another”, before telling them to leave the bloody crime scene.
Darlington’s girlfriend was reportedly the one who called police.
The suspect is due back in court on November 15.
Panama President Laurentino Cortizo said: “I express my condolences to the families of the two citizens who lost their lives in an incident that occurred this Tuesday in a sector of Panama Oeste.
“This is a fact that has no place in a society called to be supportive like ours.”
The deaths followed local reports that a demonstrator was run over and killed on November 1 by someone attempting to cross a roadblock during a protest in the west of the country.
A fourth protester was also killed.
Now into the third week, the protests erupted over a controversial copper mining contract and spread to wider fury at the government.
Several roads in the capital were blocked on Tuesday and the Pan-American Highway was also badly obstructed in several places.
The roadblocks have caused up to £70million in daily losses to businesses and schools have been shut for more than a week across the country.
Demonstrations first erupted after the awarding of a contract extension to Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals to continue to work on an open-pit copper mine in a jungle near Panama City.
In an effort to calm protests, congress last week passed a law that left it up to the Supreme Court to decide if the contract with First Quantum Minerals would go ahead.
Environmental groups backed the decision but the Suntracs union, made up of teachers’ unions and other organisations, are calling for the contract to be ripped up.
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