Police in the island nation of Malta have opened an investigation into the brutal double murder of a gay couple. Unknown assailants raided the home of Ivor Maciejowski and Christian Pandolfino, shooting both men to death.
The attack happened in the late hours of August 18. Neighbors alerted police to the home of Maciejowski & Pandolfino after hearing what sounded like gunshots. Inside, officers found the bodies of both men, shot multiple times by unknown attackers. Review of CCTV footage revealed three gunmen storming the property at 10:19 that night, and exiting about four minutes later.
Law enforcement officials have yet to speculate on a motive for the murder, or if it should be classified as a hate crime. PinkNews reports that at least one queer rights group has speculated that the shooting could have been a robbery gone wrong; Maciejowski worked as a noted art dealer in the area.
“Tragic is an understatement,” Malta Pride said in a statement on Facebook. “Although details of the case are still emerging, it seems that this was a botched hold-up and not necessarily related to being a homophobic hate crime. It would be sensible to wait and see at this point without making any rash conclusions.”
In the meantime, friends of the couple have gone into mourning, publicly expressing their grief.
“Two of my friends have been murdered. Rest in peace Chris and Ivor,” said“Condolences to the Family.”
“They were just really, really great people. Selfless and funny and just friendly and fantastic and fabulous in every way,” friend Jordan Munn told The Malta Times.
Though friends and activists speculate that robbery could have been a motive for the crime, law enforcement has not yet announced if any valuables were taken from the home of Maciejowski & Pandolfino. Police also have yet to name any suspects in the crime.