Yesterday evening, two people were left with injuries after a shooting occurred in a bar in the popular tourist district of Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. The first victim is currently recovering from five bullet wounds, whilst the second was injured by a bullet graze. Authorities have also revealed that the victim who received the most injuries was a foreigner, altering tourists to be extra cautious whilst out at night.
The attack occurred after 11 pm on the corner of Calle 6 on Fifth Avenue, at a bar called The Roof. Municipal police agents arrived on the scene after receiving reports that shots were fired inside the bar. They then began to cordon off the bar and its surrounding area to prevent passers-by from entering.
In the aftermath of the attack, security cameras captured partygoers fleeing from the scene, rushing to take shelter in the numerous businesses opposite the bar on Fifth Avenue. Municipal authorities then activated a search operation to find the perpetrator, whilst local authorities worked to get people away from the crime scene safely.
The two injured victims are currently recovering inside the General Hospital of Playa Del Carmen. Medical experts have determined that the individual recovering from the bullet graze will make a full recovery. However, the foreign victim who received five bullet wounds is said to be in a critical state, with little chance of survival.
Fifth Avenue is considered to be one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Playa Del Carmen: the bustling street is packed with artisanal shops and food stores, as well as numerous restaurants and bars. It typically has a large police presence due to the vast number of tourists that visit each day, which is why this shooting is so concerning.
This is not the first time a shooting has occurred in the popular tourist district of Fifth Avenue: on July 25th, 3 individuals were hospitalised after armed assailants shot into a crowd of busy shoppers. The attack prompted the British government to issue an official travel warning for Mexico later that week, which specifically named the incident as a cause for concern for tourists. With an increase in violent crime throughout Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum over the past few summer months, tourists are wondering why Quintana Roo’s police presence is not more prominent.
Whilst police are yet to find a motive for the crime, experts have theorised that the individuals were injured after being caught up in a drug-related incident. Raul Tassinari Gonzalez, the Secretary of Public Security stated that illicit substances had been found at The Roof bar where the armed attack took place:
“In the case of the event on Fifth Avenue, traces and various portions of drugs were found in the place…As we know criminal gangs seek to reorganise [themselves], we have to bring extra security to the table”.
It is currently unknown whether either of the two victims was involved in drug crimes, or simply got involved with drug criminals whilst spending time in Playa Del Carmen.
In light of the tragic event, police will increase surveillance throughout Playa del Carmen, paying special attention to Fifth Avenue and other areas populated densely with tourists. Tenth Avenue in businesses within the city centre will also have an increased police presence.
At this time, police have not yet found the assailant responsible for the attack, despite launching a full investigation into the matter. As the investigation continues, tourists are reminded to remain vigilant of suspicious activity whilst out at night and to report any unconventional behaviour to local police.
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