MANAMA: A journalist has been gunned-down in front of her six-year-old son in Bahrain, local media reported Thursday.

Activists claim that 28-year-old Eman Salehi was allegedly shot dead by a member of the nation’s royal family who is serving in the military. The Shia woman, who worked as a sports reporter for Bahrain’s state-run TV channel, was killed in Bahraini city Riffa on December 23. It is unclear what sparked the shooting which happened after her car was stopped in the road.

A man shot the journalist, recognisable by her piercing blue eyes, in the head before immediately turning himself in to the authorities. Bahrain’s Interior Ministry issued only a brief statement on Twitter saying there had been a “murder of a female.”

The state-run Bahrain News Agency identified Salehi’s killer as a “34-year-old Bahraini man” who “was referred to the relevant judicial party to continue the necessary legal procedures.” 

The Gulf Daily News, a pro-government English-language newspaper, described the suspect as an officer in the Bahraini Defense Force. 

Activists abroad, including Yousif Almuhafdah, Vice President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and those affiliated with Bahrain Watch, reported that locals had identified the shooter as a member of the ruling Al Khalifa family.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Information Affairs declined to comment on the case onTuesday. 

On Wednesday, Bahrain’s state-run news agency published a story quoting Brig. Gen. Yussef Rashid Flaifel, the head of the country’s military courts, as saying the armed forces were investigating the crime while the man accused remained in custody. 

Faten Bushehri, an activist with Bahrain Watch said: “The fact that the alleged perpetrator was a military officer and member of the ruling family has set this crime apart from others, testing the country’s commitment to justice and accountability.”