Two Canadian tourists are dead and a third is wounded after an unidentified man opened fire on all three in the restaurant area of the Xcaret México hotel in Quintana Roo.
According to state Attorney General Óscar Montes de Oca, one of the three victims died in the ambulance on the way to receive medical care. The second died in hospital. The condition of the third victim, a woman, was not released.
Authorities are searching for the male assailant, who fled on foot immediately after the shooting, de Oca said, adding that the attack appeared to have been premeditated, based on video surveillance footage.
The identities of those involved have not been released.
De Oca said that the shooter appeared to be a guest of the hotel because video footage showed that he was wearing an Xcaret wristband.
The incident took place Friday afternoon around 3 p.m., de Oca said. Earlier reports had stated that the shooting appeared to be the result of an argument, but the attorney general later that evening said that video footage showed the suspect deliberately approaching the victims before opening fire.
The two male murdered victims had criminal records in Canada, he said, but neither had ever been investigated by police in Mexico. “This is not a case of fighting between antagonistic groups dedicated to selling drugs,” he told Milenio.
It is not yet clear if the shooter intended to attack all three victims. Canadian law enforcement told Quintana Roo authorities that one of the homicide victims had a long criminal history involving, among other crimes, cocaine trafficking, robbery and the use of false identities, de Oca said in an interview with the media outlet Fórmula Noticias.
The state Attorney General Office’s Twitter account also posted Friday evening that the second deceased victim had a criminal record, but it did not provide details.
“We are reviewing everything carefully to see if this plot was in conspiracy with others, which is what we’re thinking, due to the personality of the man who died. Certainly, it was not an isolated incident but one planned in order to take his life,” de Oca said.
The hotel is located next to the Xcaret theme park between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
The incident is the fourth beachfront shooting in the state since last October, when gunfire left two tourists dead in Tulum.
Another incident saw two drug dealers shot and killed on a beach in Puerto Morelos in November. In December, shooters arrived on a Cancún beach in personal watercraft, fired weapons into the air and fled.
The increase in violence triggered the deployment in December of a new tourism security battalion of the National Guard.
UPDATE: preliminary reports by Quintana Roo law enforcement indicated one dead victim and two wounded. That information has since been revised by authorities to change the number of dead victims to two and to provide more details about the incident, including the gender of the injured victim. Information from the previous reports appeared in an earlier version of this story.