Four people were wounded inside a restaurant in the Mexican beach town of Rosarito, a popular U.S. tourist destination on Tuesday, June 5, at approximately 2:30 pm.
According to Adrián Hernández Pérez, the Director of the Municipal Police of Rosarito, a shooter approached the entrance of Chiltepinos Wings and directed gunfire into the restaurant, striking four victims.
The victims were later identified as a 21-year-old male from Tijuana who sustained a gunshot wound to the head and was later transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is listed in serious condition. A second male received a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was also transported to surgery. A third male identified as a California resident sustained a grazing wound to his left arm and was examined by paramedics at the scene. The fourth victim was identified as a local female who was grazed by what was believed gunfire to her right forearm, but did not require treatment.
The gunman reportedly fled into a getaway vehicle, according to witnesses.
Rosarito is near the U.S.-Mexico Border approximately 20 miles south of California. The restaurant is located in Plaza Pabellón Rosarito, a popular spot for American tourists and the primary shopping center in the city. The development is anchored by Walmart and Home Depot stores.
According to the Director of the Municipal Police, an intensive search operation was launched to locate the gunman but did not produce any results.
Like many parts of Mexico, Rosarito has not been spared from cartel violence which is spreading throughout the country. Rosarito was once known for its beaches and dance clubs attracting young people from the United States—especially during long holiday weekends. Within the last couple of years, Rosarito experienced a spike in executions mainly driven by rival cartels and affiliated gangs fighting over lucrative street-level drug markets. The main drug blamed for these turf battles is meth—according to local law enforcement contacts who spoke to Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity.
In 2017, Rosarito finished the year with 154 homicides. For 2018 thus far, a notable decrease is seen with 35 registered.
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