A team of cartel gunmen in the popular resort city of Cancún ambushed members of the Quintana Roo State Police. The officers traveled along a busy street in a private non-duty vehicle this past Tuesday night. The brazen attack left one police officer in serious condition and wounded other officers and administrative staff who were also in the vehicle with non-life-threatening injuries. A civilian riding on a motorcycle nearby was also wounded by stray gunfire.
The attack occurred on Tuesday night at approximately 9:20 pm on Avenida Las Torres and La Luna street was captured by security cameras and posted on social media. The video shows state police personnel (two police officers and two administrative staff) traveling in a Ford Escape when they were blocked in by a white colored Ford EcoSport while stopped at a red light.
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One cartel gunman jumped out of the rear passenger seat with a rifle and immediately opens fire at the vehicle transporting the state police. The rear driver’s side passenger, which was closest to the victim’s vehicle, also opens up with rifle fire at the Ford Escape.
The Ford Escape with the state police attempts to pull forward but stops shortly after the driver who was a state police officer was presumably incapacitated by his gunshot wounds. Reports later indicated that the driver sustained the most serious wounds.
The video also shows a male following behind on the victim’s vehicle on a motorcycle and when the gunfire erupts. He abandons his motorcycle and runs for cover as does a flower vendor on the side of the street who was in the line of the cartel gunmen’s indiscriminate fire.
The cartel gunmen can be seen to speed away. The wounded victims were later transported to a local medical facility. One of the passengers in the victim’s vehicle was a 22-year-old female, a civilian administrative employee of the state police. She is reportedly five months pregnant and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Amateur video later posted on social media captures the aftermath of the shooting when the wounded motorcyclist jumps back on his motorcycle. The video also captures the image of wounded state police personnel seated in their truck.
The cartel gunmen’s truck was later located abandoned on Thursday afternoon in the Supermanzana 32 neighborhood of Cancún. Police were tipped off to the location of the truck by an anonymous call. Investigators from the state attorney general’s office confirmed that it was indeed the vehicle used in the attack according to local media reports.
The investigation into the ambush attack of state police personnel was being handled by investigative personnel from the state attorney general’s office.
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 email@example.com.