Security guard Pal Kola was fatally shot on March 27, 2023, in the Albanian capital of Tirana while on duty outside the headquarters of the privately owned TV station Top Channel, according to media reports, reports by the outlet, and Top Channel editor-in-chief Altin Krekas, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
Shortly after midnight, unidentified people fired about 25 shots from a vehicle as they passed by Top Channel’s office, killing Kola, who was 61 years old. Police opened an investigation and later that day found an abandoned Range Rover that had been set on fire about 25 miles from the scene of the attack, according to those sources.
Police found spent shells and ammunition, together with two AK-47 rifles in the vehicle.
In a statement, Top Channel called the incident an “unprecedented terrorist act” that was “carried out to damage and attack the mission of free media and the power of free speech.”
CPJ emailed the Albanian national police for comment but did not receive any response.