EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Armed assailants killed three people attending a funeral in Juarez, Mexico, on Friday night; they returned the next day to kill six more after relatives moved the body to another location, police and local news media reported.
The massacre comes on the heels of the kidnapping and murder of four used-car salesmen last week in the same general area of Juarez. It would be one of the worst mass killings in this city since 16 people – most of them teenagers – were killed at a party in early 2010.
The first attack took place late Friday at a private home in the Echeverria neighborhood of South-Central Juarez. Police said a man and a woman died on the scene and a second man died in a hospital after an unknown number of assailants arrived and shot at the guests.
The second attack happened inside a small protestant church in the 16th of September neighborhood on Saturday morning. That’s where the funeral wake was transferred after Friday’s attack.
Juarez police said armed gunmen again showed up and sprayed the guests with bullets. Four men died on the scene while a fifth man and a 12-year-old boy died in hospitals because of gunshot wounds.
State forensic experts recovered from the scene 28 bullet casings of AR-15 type rifles and more than 20 fired from 9mm pistols.
Police as of Monday morning had not reported any arrests in the case nor would they speculate on a possible motive for the attacks.
Possible prison gang connection
Chihuahua state authorities last Tuesday reported the deaths of two inmates at the Aquiles Serdan Cereso 1 prison in the state capital of Chihuahua City.
State Attorney General Roberto Fierro said a drug overdose was suspected in at least one of the deaths but was treating both cases as possible homicides.
Fierro told local media that authorities were investigating drug trafficking inside the prison as well as the possibility that jailed drug cartel leaders were ordering killings of rivals from inside the prison,
The AG’s Office identified the dead inmates as Juan Carlos Alvarez Diaz, 39, and Hugo Arath Garcia Robles, 23, and a reputed member of the Aztecas Old Guard jailed on firearms charges.
Garcia had been arrested and jailed in Juarez but asked to be transferred to the state capital for fear of his life, Mexican media reported.
The other deceased inmate was Juan Carlos A.D. He also was in prison for gun and drug charges, said Enrique Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office.
The official told Border Report on Monday that one of the men deceased at the Aquiles Serdan prison was, indeed, laying in state in Juarez on Friday.
The AG’s Office identified the victims of the first shooting as Gloria Johana G.G., 27, Ramon M.M., 35, and a woman in her 50s yet to be identified. The victims of the second shooting were Joaquin L.A., 45, Jose Manuel C.L., 48, Carlos L.H., 45, and Arturo G.R., 37, all of whom died on the scene. Jorge Antonio T., 36, and a 12-year-old male died while receiving emergency care at hospitals.
Several other persons were injured in the shooting, but the AG’s Office only knows of two — ages 20 and 46.
The investigation is ongoing.