Officials are investigating the murder of an elderly German cruise passenger who was shot dead on the Venezuelan island of Margarita.

Goldhahm Hors Kurt, 76, was shot on Friday afternoon near a shopping centre “resulting in his immediate death,” a statement from the office of the public prosecutor said.

Local media reported that the victim, a passenger on the German ship Aida Luna, was shot during a robbery as he and other tourists shopped for handicrafts on the Caribbean island.

Two armed robbers on a motorcycle are reported to have tried to rob passengers on a shore excursion from the ship. There was a struggle and Kurt was shot and killed.

“Security forces are after the criminals,” tourism minister Andres Izarra said on Twitter.