President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination has sent shockwaves throughout the Haitian community in South Florida. The president's wife was also shot and airlifted to Miami in critical condition.
Haitian officials confirmed the president’s death early Wednesday morning.
Before the Haitian government confirmed Moïse’s death, Joel Audain says he heard the news from his cousin in Haiti.
“Yeah I heard the news this morning," Audain said. "My cousin sent me information about it.”
The assassination comes after months of violence and deadly protests on the island nation.
Once Audain came to work at Cayard Bakery on West Dixie Highway in North Miami, he saw everyone talking about the news.
"I talk to everybody," Audain said. "I really was shocked to hear, not just it happened the way it happened. But no one wants to see that in the country especially the head of the country on top of that.”
Jefferey Bruno, an entrepreneur with businesses in Florida and Haiti, says he is close to the Moïse family.
“The other day I was just saying congratulations to him on something that he did and then that was it," Bruno said. "I’m still in shock, I’m not sure and I’m like, wow. I don’t know, I’m just saying in shock right now.”
Little Haiti activist Marliene Bastien was also shocked.
"There’s still so much uncertainty in Haiti following the attack," said Bastien.
South Florida is home to the largest Haitian population in the U.S. and as such, the president’s assassination is impacting many in our community.
“Every member of the Haitian community here has relatives in Haiti, and that's the nature of migration, that's the nature of the cohesion of our communities of the Haitian-American community here in South Florida and other parts of North America and elsewhere in the diaspora," said Paul Namphy, the lead organizer of the Family Action Network Movement.
Namphy's 9-year-old daughter Jiji, is in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, where she spends the summer with family.
“We are assured that Jiji is not in Port-au-Prince and therefore is in a situation of lesser risk. But we know that we have a situation of the uncertainty of insecurity of the fact that we can't really count on what's going to happen next," Namphy said.