A former Big Apple human rights lawyer was shot and killed on the tiny Pacific island where she was the acting attorney general — with friends saying Tuesday that she was planning to return soon to the US.
Rachelle Bergeron, 33, had just returned home from her daily jog Monday on the island Yap when she was shot in the chest and leg — with her dog also being shot dead, officials said.
Her husband Simon Haemmerling — who she wed almost exactly a year ago — was inside the home baking brownies and raced out at the sound of three gunshots, according to a friend, Amos Collins.
A nurse used a blanket to help move her unconscious body onto her husband’s flatbed truck and she was raced to Yap Memorial Hospital, Collins said. She was pronounced dead on arrival, local official Constantine Yowbalaw confirmed to the Pacific Daily News.
The FBI is now sending a team to help the investigation, FBI spokesperson Michelle Ernst told the paper Tuesday.
The killing of the chief prosecutor has shocked the tiny island of just 11,000 people, with Gov. Henry Falan using a Facebook video to announce the “tragic day in our history.”
“Yap’s spirit is broken by this senseless and heinous act,” Falan said, addressing the “darkness” for the island and offering “our united, heart-felt condolences” to her loved ones.
“Her loss will be greatly felt by all who knew her.”
Collins also posted about the “unimaginable loss,” writing, “Everyone is in shock; it all happened so fast.”
Bergeron was from Wisconsin and first moved to Yap in 2015, with the government proudly touting her time working human rights cases in both Washington, DC, and New York.
She is still a member of the New York State Bar, records show, and had been working in Manhattan until shortly before she left for Yam.
Friends told the AP that she had been planning to return to the US after her challenging stint prosecuting criminals on the Pacific island.
The Federated States of Micronesia, located about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia, has close ties with the US under a compact of free association and the US dollar is its primary currency.
With Post wires
The post Former NYC lawyer shot to death on tiny island where she was attorney general appeared first on New York Post.