Haitian police were searching Thursday for two gunmen who opened fire Christmas Day on the home of one of the country’s best known broadcasters, Michelle Montas, the widow of Jean Dominique, a prominent journalist who was gunned down 2 ½ years ago.

One of Montas’ bodyguards was killed in the attack, which took place Wednesday evening minutes after the broadcaster returned from Christmas dinner. ”The people who [killed Dominique] must be worried. Otherwise they wouldn’t try to kill me,” Montas said by telephone from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Police are trying to determine a motive, presidential spokesman Luc Especa said Thursday. But the attack comes as a judge is scheduled to release a report into Dominique’s murder in April 2000, a politically charged investigation that has implicated a ruling-party Senator.

Montas, who anchored the news along with her husband and this year was a recipient of the esteemed Maria Moors Cabot Prize for journalism from Columbia University, has kept up pressure on the investigation over the airwaves. She said she believes the timing is linked to the release of the judge’s report, and that her attackers are the same people who killed her husband. ”We knew that the closer we get to that final report by the judge, the dangers were going to get more intense,” Montas said. “In this case, it was last night.”  Montas, who has been critical of the government’s investigation into her husband’s murder, was visited Thursday by two Cabinet ministers and now has a Haitian National Police car assigned to her as a protective measure. The government, though, does not believe there is a link between the judge’s report and Wednesday’s attack, spokesman Especa said.

Montas has sharply criticized the investigation into the murder of her husband, a pro-democracy advocate twice forced into exile. As she said in her October acceptance speech for the Cabot prize, it’s a case where “witnesses and corpses have vanished, a case where the Senate has refused to lift the parliamentary immunity of a suspect, a case where a judge had to seek political asylum in the States, a case where the police have been unable or unwilling to carry on arrest warrants against former army officers. . . .”

Montas dedicated that speech to slain journalists around the Americas. She said at the time that attention on her husband’s case had shielded her from suffering the same fate.

Then came Wednesday’s attack, which happened at about 5:30 p.m. as Montas returned to her home in the capital’s suburb of Petionville. She said she took an unusual route to her house. Minutes after pulling in, two gunmen approached from the direction of her usual route, came to the gate and brandished weapons. One of the journalist’s security guards immediately locked the gate, leaving the other guard, Maxim Seide, outside.

The gunmen started shooting at the house, fatally wounding Seide, and then fled.

Montas called police. ”I’m beyond fear,” Montas said. “I think this has increased my determination to go on.”

Meanwhile, human-rights and press groups denounced the shooting as another threat to press freedom in Haiti. Since 2000, more than 60 journalists have been assaulted or threatened, according to the Haitian Journalists Association. That includes both Dominique and Petit-Goave radio journalist Brignol Lindor, who was hacked to death by machete last year after a former mayor in the town put him on a target list for having opposition leaders on his show.  Seven other journalists have been in hiding for more than a month, after vigilantes torched their station in the north of the country.  The local journalists association also asked the government to increase security for investigating Judge Bernard Saint-Vil. Saint-Vil’s handgun was stolen from his car Thursday morning, association President Guyler Delva said. Saint-Vil, who has said he will issue a report before January, is not the first to feel pressure.

The judge who previously investigated the Dominique murder, Claudy Gassant, fled in fear and is living in South Florida. At that time, judicial officials named ruling Lavalas party Sen. Dany Toussaint as a suspect. But the Senate refused to lift his immunity. Toussaint has said he’s innocent.