A narcotics police commander in the state capital of Sonora was assassinated as he drove his duty SUV Tuesday evening.
A group of cartel gunmen pulled alongside the police commander’s vehicle at approximately 5:26 pm local time and fired multiple rifle rounds, killing him, according to local reports.
Aarón Guadalupe Arbayo Acuña, 45, was traveling in the northern section of Hermosillo in colonia Solidaridad when he was intercepted by at least two vehicles occupied by gunmen. According to witnesses, the gunmen blocked the path of his vehicle and at least two men dismounted and opened fire, striking the commander’s truck with dozens of rounds.
The gunmen then fled the scene and eluded responding police. One of the assassins’ vehicles was described as a blue GMC Denali moving northbound. A few blocks away, investigators looked at an abandoned and burning vehicle. It is unknown if this vehicle was involved.
Forensic personnel from the state attorney general’s office processed the crime scene and investigators were tasked with interviewing witnesses. A video of the victim’s truck was posted on social media.
Hermosillo is located approximately 175 miles south of Arizona and is a key location for cartels with highways also into California.
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.)