Gunmen kill 12 people in Mexico bar; police wounded as they investigate; many Mexicans outraged in wake of attack
Mexico’s National Civil Defense Institute said Sunday that gunmen with guns and grenades killed at least 12 people and wounded 28 others in a popular party bar in eastern Mexico, which authorities described as a “very violent” venue for the past several decades. Authorities also said that eight law enforcement officers were wounded, but that they were expected to recover.
The attack came a day after a police officer was killed in the state of Guerrero.
The police officer, Arturo Hernandez, was shot by gunmen at the entrance of a bar called La Sultana in the city of Iguala on Saturday night, Guerrero’s interior minister, Manuel Lopez, said Saturday. Police said the dead officer had entered the bar with the intention of investigating a complaint of drug-trafficking.
Hernando Sanchez, the Mexican attorney general, said authorities believe that the police officer died because he had “a bullet in his arm. He did not have a gun in his arm that night… the gun used was a nine-millimeter,” the BBC reports. Sanchez said the dead officer’s family had been notified Sunday.
The Mexican army, which was initially at the scene of the attack, said in a statement that authorities were investigating the incident, CBS News reports.
Lopez said investigators believed that the attackers had targeted the police and shot Hernandez before taking hostages at the bar, the Associated Press reports.
“This is a very violent place. This happened in the middle of the night. People were drinking and there was a lot of violence but people just kept getting up and trying to leave,” said Hector Suarez, a local musician who performs on the street called the “street of the dead.”
“What happened here was an assassination, not a robbery,” he added. “The idea that these police officers would go into this place and risk their lives to take out the bandits seems more and more insane to me.”
In addition to the 12 dead, about 20 people were reported injured after police said the attack, which took place around 11:20 p.m., had begun.