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Camacho critical, on life support

– The family of Hector “Macho” Camacho tried to decide Wednesday whether he should be removed from life support after a shooting in his Puerto Rican hometown left the former boxing champion clinging to life and his fans mourning the loss of a dynamic and often troubled athlete.

Doctors at the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan found that Camacho had irregular and intermittent brain activity late Wednesday, said Dr. Ernesto Torres, the center’s director.

“We can’t declare him brain dead,” he said. “We’re going to ask the people of Puerto Rico to keep praying.”

Torres said doctors will conduct additional tests today but warned the prognosis remains dire.

“The changes have been more negative than positive,” he said, adding that Camacho does not have enough blood coursing through his brain.

Doctors initially had said Camacho was in critical, but stable condition and expected to survive after he was shot Tuesday night in the city of Bayamon. But his condition worsened overnight and his heart stopped at one point, Torres said.

The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend’s pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car.

Camacho’s mother, who flew in Wednesday from New York, will lead the discussion about whether he should be removed from life support, said Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager who was also at the hospital.

“We just have to wait to see if ‘Macho’ gets better. It’s a hard battle,” Leandry told The Associated Press as he joined friends and family outside the emergency room.

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