A British millionaire property magnate has been shot dead outside a five star hotel in Argentina after being held up by armed robbers.
Matthew Charles Gibbard, 50, was named locally as the victim of a brutal attack that took place in broad daylight outside the Faena hotel in Buenos Aires.
According to reports, his stepson,Stefan Zone, 28, was also shot in the thigh and is recovering in hospital.
Alberto Fernandez, Argentina’s President branded the incident “atrocious” adding: “We must be severe, we cannot tolerate this. We must seek out those responsible and make them pay with the rigour of Justice."
Mr Gibbard is a director at Tingdene, a retirement homes firm, which turned over £20 million last year, according to Companies House.
He is also listed as a director for a local vineyard, and a vegetation management company.
It is understood that they arrived in Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport on a British Airways flight that landed at 9:20am, and took a taxi to their hotel, along with other family members.
As they were getting out, they were intercepted by two men on a motorcycle who tried to rob them as left the taxi, just before 11:00 am. The robbers, who had been circling the area, also had a support vehicle nearby, it has been claimed.
The two Brits attempted to resist the theft and were shot in the struggle, authorities said. Emergency services arrived within minutes and took both to local Argerich hospital.
The father was shot in the armpit and suffered a haemorrage after the bullet entered his chest. He died of his wounds shortly afterwards. His stepson was shot in the left leg, the bullet just missing his femoral artery.
The perpetrators escaped after the attack and police were still searching for them on Sunday.
In Lowick, Northants, where the family live one neighbour, who didn’t wish to be named, said: "We knew Matthew quite well. We saw him every now and then in the pub. He was a great guy.
“He was always really nice. Every year, we have a Bonfire Night in the village and he would help fund it.
“He was always great. He travelled for work a lot and for pleasure but he was certainly well-liked.
There has been a recent spate of attacks by ‘motochorros’ in the city recently. One Canadian man was apparently tracked from the same airport to the Intercontinental hotel were he was forced to hand over his belongings to motorcycle thugs.
In December last year, Swedish tourist Christoffer Persson was shot during an attempted robbery, and his leg subsequently amputated due to his injuries. In the same month, a US tourist was hospitalised after a violent assault during which his camera was stolen.
Puerto Madero, where the murder took place, is the redeveloped former city docks, hailed as one of the most successful urban regeneration projects in the world, attracting huge foreign investment, young professionals, and luxury tourism.
A Foreign Officer spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of two British men following an incident in Buenos Aires, and are in contact with the local authorities there.”