Several police officers have been arrested in Venezuela after the teenage daughter of a Chilean diplomat was shot dead in the western city of Maracaibo, BBC reported on Sunday.

Karen Berendique, 19, died when police opened fire on the car she was in. Police say the car - driven by the teenager’s brother - failed to stop at a police checkpoint. The officer in charge of the inquiry, Jose Humberto Ramirez, promised transparency and said a special commission had been set up.

Mr Ramirez said the shooting was an isolated incident which was not representative of the force as a whole. Police said the officers had been looking for a gang involved in robberies and car thefts. Ms Berendique’s father, Fernando Berendique, who is the Chilean consul in Maracaibo, said his son had been driving his sister to a birthday party.

He said that they came across a police patrol who pointed guns at them, instead of asking them to stop. The consul said his son panicked and the officers opened fire.

Mr Berendique said the car had six bullet holes in it. His daughter was hit three times. “My God, what kind of people are they?” he asked. “It is the product of irresponsibility and the product of a lack of respect for human life here,” he said.

“It was the act of some functionaries who did not have a lot of experience and these are the the consequences.”