He added that the first lady, Martine Moise, was also injured and had been taken to hospital.
Dr Joseph said the attack was carried out by a group of unidentified people during the night. Some of these spoke in Spanish, he added. Gunshots could be heard throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince, after the attack, which comes amid a deepening political and economic instability as well as a spike in gang violence in Haiti.
With Haiti politically divided, and facing a growing humanitarian crisis and shortages of food, there are fears of widespread disorder in the impoverished country.
Haiti’s economic, political and social woes have deepened recently, with inflation spiraling and food and fuel becoming scarcer at times in a country where 60 per cent of the population makes less than $2 a day. The country is still trying to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew that struck in 2016.
In a statement, Dr Joseph said the group attacked the private residence of the president around 1am on Wednesday.
Mr Moise was killed in the attack, while his wife was injured by a bullet and receiving treatment.
“The President was injured and succumbed to those injuries,” Joseph said in an interview with Radio Caraibes.
Mr Moise was 53 years old. He had been ruling by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections, which led to parliament being dissolved.
Opposition leaders have accused him of seeking to increase his power. In recent months, they have demanded he step down, arguing that his term legally ended in February 2021.
Mr Moise and supporters maintained that his term began when he took office in early 2017, following a chaotic election that forced the appointment of a provisional president to serve during a year-long gap.
Haiti was scheduled to hold general elections later this year.
The interim prime minister said Haiti’s police and army were in control of the country’s safety.
“All measures are taken to guarantee the continuation of the state and to protect the nation,” he added.
The US Embassy said in a statement it would be closed on Wednesday due to the “ongoing security situation”.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
Department of International Relations and European Studies https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-international-relations-and-european-studies/