At least five people are dead and more than 15 wounded after a shooting early this morning at a Playa del Carmen nightclub.
Early reports say a lone shooter opened fire at about 2:00am at the Blue Parrot during the final night of the BPM electronic music festival.
The club was packed, according to one witness with the “music in full swing” when shots were heard.
Video footage published on social media shows a chaotic scene outside the club as people fled.
“We have five dead, another in serious condition and various wounded . . . .” said Mayor Cristina Torre in an interview this morning.
She said there were two versions of what happened: one was that a person did not want to pay the cover charge to enter the bar and began shooting. The second was that the gunfire arose from a confrontation.
A police spokesman said there was a disagreement among some people inside the club and the shooting began when security guards tried to contain the dispute, the Associated Press reported. Four people were said to have been arrested.
BPM Festival organizers said in a statement on their Facebook page that a lone shooter was responsible.
“It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and twelve injured. The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.
“The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities . . . throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors. We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation.”
A Scottish DJ posted a warning on Twitter just after 2:00am, urging people to stay in their hotel rooms. “Someone has come into the club in Playa del Carmen and opened fire. Four to five dead and many wounded.”
A little later he tweeted: “This is a very sad situation. Trying to get my head around it still. Thoughts and condolence to all affected.”
The BPM Festival is a 10-day gathering of music industry professionals that was created in 2008. Held annually in Playa del Carmen, it draws as many as 70,000 people, according to information published on Wikipedia. BPM stands for “bartenders, promoters, musicians.”