Police in Puerto Rico said Monday a Ventnor woman shot Jan. 31 in San Juan was in an apartment in the Condado section of the capital with a group of people, not on the beach during the course of a robbery, as they had initially been led to believe.
Angelis Molina, a Ventnor resident who was working as a waitress in Atlantic City, had gone to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the first time to celebrate her 20th birthday Jan. 21 with a friend. After deciding to extend her stay, she was shot in the face Jan. 31.
She is recovering from her most recent surgery, which removed one of her eyes, said Michelle Molina, her mother. The bullet, her mother said, entered her daughter’s mouth and exited her cheek.
Once Angelis Molina is able to provide testimony, police said, they will be able to narrow their ongoing investigation.
“The Police Bureau continues gathering information and, as soon as the woman can provide her testimony, the authorities will have an even broader picture of the circumstances regarding the incident,” said Henry Escalera, commissioner of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau.
Molina fell in with a new group of friends during her trip. One of those new friends, Renán Colón Pujadas, gave a version of events — that the shooting took place in the course of a robbery — to police last Friday that has since been ruled out due to contradictory versions, according to the newspaper/website PrimeraHora, which also reported Pujadas had a history of giving false information to police about theft and kidnapping, after he claimed to be a victim of a robbery in July 2017.
“I did not know who this kid was at all, but from what she told me he was a good guy. Not someone at all that would have hurt her,” Michelle Molina said. “What he really is as a person is not good either. His whole persona is not good.”
The details surrounding what happened Jan. 31 are under investigation by the Puerto Rico police, the department confirmed last Tuesday through an interpreter.
“There’s been so many different accounts from the people that were involved that the police are trying to put their finger on what exactly is the truth,” Michelle Molina said.
Angelis Molina’s father, who works as a driver for UPS, flew down Sunday and plans to stay there as long as he can.
Staff Writer Amanda Auble contributed to this report.