At least 10 people were killed and nine others injured when an annual all-terrain racing event in Baja California erupted in a shooting Saturday, as participants passed through the city of Ensenada, according to several reports.
The two-day event, called Cachanillazo, was to conclude later in the day. As racers paused by a gas station in the San Vicente area of Ensenada, located about a two-hour drive south of San Diego, around 2:18 p.m. local time, a group of assailants with long guns got out of gray van and opened fire toward participants, according to Reuters, which cited reports of 911 calls.
Mexican journalist Alfredo Alvarez, who has garnered 52,700 followers on Twitter, reported on his website that the shooting stemmed from a confrontation between active members of the Arellano Felix Cartel (CAF) and the Sinaloa Cartel.
According to local reports, the group of alleged hit men were targeting a member of the CAF cartel who was being investigated by the U.S. for drug trafficking. He was reportedly among those killed Saturday.
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Graphic video shared to social media showed the bloodied bodies of victims strewn on the street next to all-terrain vehicles, called Razers, as soldiers and other law enforcement were at the scene. Other footage captured the barrage of gunfire sounding off by the gas station Saturday.
“Violence has reached levels never seen in BC and Mexico. The roads and towns that for decades saw families and friends pass through in off-road adventure vehicles, today bear witness to executions of crime. What happened today at #Ensenada has to stop,” Gustavo de Hoyos Walther, a local Mexican attorney, tweeted in Spanish to his more than 161,500 followers.
Authorities said the suspects had not been apprehended and did not immediately release the names of victims, KNSD reported.
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Reuters reported that municipal and state police, the Marines, the Fire Department, and Mexican Red Cross, among other agencies responded to the scene.
Ensenada Mayor Armando Ayala Robles said Baja California State Attorney General Ricardo Ivan Carpio Sanchez commissioned a special group to investigate the shooting, Reuters said.
The shooting came as migrants have been surging across the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers with the recent end of Title 42.
On Friday, San Diego Border Patrol agents reported gunfire in two recent incidents, including one while agents were tending to an abandoned 4-year-old child about one-half mile east of the San Ysidro port of entry.
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“Border violence is a significant threat to public safety and to the Border Patrol agents charged with securing our nation’s borders,” agents warned.