Two Coahuila state police officers have been charged with killing a United States citizen and a legal U.S. resident at a highway checkpoint near Saltillo on October 28.
The two men allegedly failed to stop at a checkpoint manned by two officers belonging to an elite SWAT-style police squad called GROMS.
In a statement released on the day of the incident police said the officers “gunned down two armed civilians in response to an armed attack.”
U.S. resident Edgar Valdes Rodriguez of Kansas City, Missouri, and U.S. citizen Demetrius Atkins were allegedly speeding and tried to avoid the checkpoint. Police said after they opened fire on the officers the latter returned fire, killing the two suspects.
Contradictions in the official account of events led an official in the Coahuila Attorney General’s office (FGE) to test the hands of the two men for gunpowder residue, but found none.
The official later told Fox News that the two men were simply driving through Coahuila on a highway that heads south.
The two police officers, Vladimir “El Hermano” Monsiváis Martínez and Félix Enrique “La Piraña” Moreno Vázquez, are now in jail accused of first-degree homicide.
According to state law they could be facing a sentence of 20 to 50 years.
Relatives of Valdez and Atkins refused to travel to Coahuila for fear of reprisals by local police officers. Instead, their bodies were identified by staff from the U.S. consulate.