Gunmen opened fire on a Cancun resort on Thursday, killing two people in what Mexican state officials called a confrontation between rival drug traffickers who, witnesses said, forced tourists and the hotel staff to hide for several hours.
The shooting took place on the beach near the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Morelos popular with American tourists.
The Quintana Roo state attorney general’s office said no one else was seriously injured in the shooting, but did not say if any other injuries occurred. The state police chief wrote on his Twitter account: “There are no seriously injured or kidnapped tourists.”
The Notacaribe news site reported that a person was injured at the scene after being hit with the handle of a weapon.
The attorney general’s office went on to say that “there had been a clash between rival groups of drug traffickers on a beach” near the hotels. Several cartels fight over the region’s lucrative retail drug trade, including the Jalisco Cartel and a gang allied with the Gulf Cartel.
A senior state official said a group of armed men arrived by boat in pursuit of the men who were killed, which another Mexican official said appeared to have been a targeted “execution”.
Mike Sington, a Twitter user and former NBC Universal executive, told Reuters by direct message that he was hiding with other resort guests in a dark area of ââthe hotel and that staff did not explain what was happening. Other guests told him they heard gunshots and an armed man was on the beach, he said.
Active shooter at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Resort. All guests are confined to the lobby now. The hotel staff gathered in a corner. Still no announcements or updates from the hotel, Hyatt or the police. Several guests have now said they saw a gunman come out of the beach, actively shooting. pic.twitter.com/fL9BP7Jisb
Hotel staff then sent text messages saying the gunman had been apprehended and staff would escort guests to their rooms where they were allegedly ordered to take shelter in place, Sington said.
âI’ve never been so scared, literally shaking,â he tweeted.
He later added that the guests were taken out of their hiding place and brought into the lobby, where they cried and kissed.
WATCH | Tourists fill the hall after hiding from the gunmen:
In a statement released Thursday evening, Global Affairs Canada said it was not aware of any Canadian citizens affected by the shooting, but continued to monitor the situation closely.
Canadian citizens in need of emergency consular assistance should contact the Consular Agency of Canada in Cancun, Mexico at 52 (55) 5724-9795 or [email protected] or call the Monitoring Center and 24/7 emergency response at 1-800- 387-3124 (toll free), +1 613-996-8885 or by emailing [email protected]
Mexican security forces have been sent to reinforce Tulum – another popular resort some 130 kilometers from Cancun – after two foreign tourists were killed and others injured last month in a shooting between suspected members of gangs.