PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Presidential candidate Yves Volel, who reportedly received numerous death threats during the campaign, was killed by police who said he was armed and trying to storm a station house.
But state-owned radio reported Volel was shot and killed Tuesday while making a human rights speech.
Port-au-Prince Police Chief Col. Gregoire Figaro said in a statement that police shot Volel, a lawyer, in an exchange of gunfire as he tried to enter the station carrying a Colt .45-caliber handgun. He was accompanied by a group of armed men hired by Volel in an attempt to free client Jean Raymond Louis, the statement said.
Independent Radio Metropole said Volel, 53, was standing in the police headquarters doorway when he was shoved from behind onto the building's steps.
State-owned Radio National said Volel was then shot twice, including once in the neck.
Police seized film from reporters for Tele-Haiti, an independent television network.
Volel is the second presidential candidate to be killed in the campaign that will culminate in national elections Nov. 29. Social Democrat Louis Eugene Athis was hacked to death Aug. 2 by a mob shouting 'Kill the communists!' in a remote village southwest of the capital.
Radio National and Radio Metropole said Volel was gunned down as he made a speech about respect for human rights to a group of journalists who accompanied him to the headquarters of the criminal investigations section.
Radio National quoted a reporter at the scene as saying Volel, head of the Christian Democrat Rally Party, was slain by men who appeared to be police in plainclothes.
Louis has been held for a month without being charged and Volel had invited journalists to accompany him to the police headquarters.
Rose Marie Volel said police 'definitely' killed her husband because of his calls for political and social change in Haiti. She said Volel had received repeated death threats during his campaign and often traveled armed, but she did not know if he was carrying a weapon Tuesday.
'The main problem in this country is a total lack of respect for human life,' she said in a telephone interview. 'It's unbelievable what's going on.'
There were no immediate arrests in the killing or the attack on the station, the police statement said. No other injuries were reported.
More than 20 candidates are running for president in the elections, the first in the Caribbean nation in 30 years. Voters will decide on a replacement for the interimgovernment of Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, which took power after dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier fled into exile Feb. 7, 1986.
Volel, a husky, balding man who described himself as an expert marksman, told reporters at a news conference in July that he used a .45-caliber pistol to shoot to death one of five would-be assassins during an attack on his car.
He was in exile for 24 years before returning to Haiti after Duvalier's flight, his wife said, and had worked for 18 years as a mathematics teacher at New York's exclusive Dalton School. He had six children from three marriages.
Volel's party was allied with one of Haiti's leading presidential contenders, Protestant pastor Sylvio Claude of the Christian Democratic Party.
Volel and Claude had voiced strong opposition to plans of former Duvalier officials to run in the elections. They had urged the independent commission overseeing the elections to apply rigorously a clause in the new constitution that bars Duvalier supporters from holding office for the next 10 years.