A suspected Honduran MS-13 gang member gunned down two municipal police officers and a suspected rival gang member in the southern Mexico border state of Chiapas this past Tuesday. Security cameras captured the murder of the two police officers and led to an extensive manhunt for the killer.
Two municipal police officers and a civilian with possible gang ties were gunned down on Tuesday morning. The attack took place in the San Juan market section of the municipality of Tapachula which is located in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas which borders Guatemala. Officials identified the two police officers as Gilberto Pérez Roblero, 42, who died at the scene, and Roger Olaf Hernández, 27, who was transported to a local hospital where he later died from his wounds. 42. Officials identified the civilian as Edilzar Humberto Pérez Orozco, 27, originally from Guatemala, who worked at a fruit and vegetable business in the San Juan market.
Officials suspect Pérez Orozco of being a member of Barrio 18 gang, a deadly rival of the MS-13 gang, according to a statement released by the state attorney general’s office and as reported by local media.
According to a spokesperson from the state attorney general’s office, the suspect in the killings is believed to be an MS-13 gang member from Honduras. He allegedly went to the fruit and vegetable business in the San Juan market where he confronted victim Pérez Orozco and shot him twice in the chest fatally wounding him. He also reportedly shot a citizen who gave chase in the leg. Responding officers caught up to the suspect where surveillance security cameras captured the moment he shot both officers.
The suspect could be seen walking along the sidewalk and believed to be fleeing. As the squad car approaches, he hides behind a medium sized truck while waiting for police officers to approach. The suspect can be seen to pull a concealed handgun from his waistband and fire one round at one of the officers who was quickly approaching from the front of the truck.
The first officer is stuck once in the face and immediately drops to the ground mortally wounded. The suspect quickly turns to run in the opposite direction and bumps into the second officer who was approaching from the rear of the truck. The suspect immediately fires a round into the officer’s chest and runs from the area as the second officer staggers towards the rear of the truck while holding his chest. An ambulance transported the second officer was transported where he later died.
Crime scene investigators from the state prosecutors’ offices remained at the crime scene collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses for several hours. The state attorney general said that the suspect has been fully identified and a search by federal, state and municipal police is being conducted for his arrest.
The municipality of Tapachula and Ciudad Hidalgo in the state of Chiapas, Mexico has seen an uptick in violence related to Central American gangs from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala as the area has been inundated with a wave of Central American migrants who are utilizing the international border crossing bridge leading into Mexico from Guatemala.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.