When three teenagers went to a store in Mexico City to collect 2,500 pesos (US $122) in protection money this week, things turned ugly and a 16-year-old boy tending his family’s convenience store ended up getting shot and killed.
The tragic story was reported in the newspaper El Universal and on the digital media site Plumas Atómicas.
Monday evening, according to the reports, the juvenile henchmen arrived by motorcycle at the abarrotes store in the CDMX borough of Iztapalapa, in the San José Aculco neighborhood adjacent to the Central de Abastos market.
At the counter was Daniel, 16, a high school student who often helped out in his spare time; his mother was nearby.
When the young hoodlums demanded he hand over the money and showed a weapon to emphasize their point, a frightened Daniel ran to get away, either toward the backyard or into the house, depending on which report is to be believed. However, the teens chased after him and fired indiscriminately, hitting Daniel, his 65-year-old grandmother and his uncle.
The grandmother, who was hit by a bullet in the leg, and the uncle survived, but Daniel died Tuesday at 4 a.m. in the Moctezuma Pediatric Hospital.
The assailants fled by motorcycle to an awaiting Renault car with license plates from México state. Images captured by security cameras helped the police arrest the alleged perpetrators: Azael, 14; Darwin, 15; and Yosvani, 16. Two of them were said to be residents of Nezahualcóyotl in the state of Mexico, while the oldest reported he lives in Iztapalapa.
According to Plumas Atómicas (Atomic Pens) — which deems itself a community of young writers writing for young readers — none of the arrested youths go to school or have a legitimate job, and all were carrying firearms. El Universal reported that Azael and Darwin were released because they’re too young to be charged, and Yosvani was taken to the prosecutor’s office for juvenile crimes.
Azael allegedly told police that an acquaintance had sent them to collect money from the store. He also allegedly said that his mother has been in prison in the state of Hidalgo for six years for robbing a pharmacy.