A New York attorney serving as an acting attorney general in the Federated States of Micronesia was gunned down outside her home on Monday, the state confirmed to CNN.
Rachelle Bergeron was shot around 7 p.m. as she returned from her daily jog to her home on the island of Yap, according to Henry Falan, the island’s governor.
Her husband, Simon Haemmerling, was home and heard the shots, Falan said. He and a neighbor took her to Yap Memorial Hospital, but Bergeron was pronounced dead on arrival, he said.
Bergeron moved to the island in 2015 to be the assistant attorney general for Yap, one of four islands that make up the Federated States of Micronesia. She was serving as Yap’s acting attorney general when she was killed.
Falan released a video statement on Facebook expressing his deep concern for the tragedy.
“Today marks a sad day in our history,” he said. “Her loss will be greatly felt by all who knew her. Yap’s spirit is broken by this senseless and heinous act. As governor of the state of Yap, I promise to do everything in my power to have justice prevail.”
The governor said Bergeron’s death is under investigation by local police. The FBI is sending a team to Yap to aid the investigation, said Special Agent Jason White, a spokesman for the bureau’s Honolulu field office.
Bergeron is originally from Wisconsin and a member of the New York Bar. She has previously worked in New York, Washington, DC, and in South Asia, and received her law degree in 2010 from the University of Florida, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She and her husband were getting ready to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary, according to Joe Adams, a friend of Haemmerling’s. Adams created a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses, including transporting her body back to the US for burial.