3 killed in drive-by shooting in San Luis R.C.
Victims thought to be involved with llegal casino operation
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. – A wave of homicides that has surged here this month after a respite continued Tuesday with the slayings of three men police said were involved in the clandestine gambling casino industry here.
The three were traveling together in a sedan near Quintana Roo and Second Street about 11 a.m. when they were fire upon by one or more shooters in another car, municipal police said.
Two of the three died at the scene on the city’s south side while the third died later in a hospital, police said. Names of the victims were not released.
They vehicle they were driving, a Honda sedan with an Arizona license plate, crashed into a wall during the attack. Police released no description for the other vehicle.
The Sonora state prosecutors office said evidence found at the scene sduggested the three were collectors for a clandestine casino operating in the city.
Illegal, unregulated casinos began appearing in the city in recent years, often operating in private residences.
Police have had limited success shutting down the casinos, though the illegal operations increasing have been targeted in armed robberies. In May 2021, simultaneous robberies of two or more casinos operating in private homes resulted in six people being injured.
The slayings came on the heels of the murder of a San Luis Rio Colorado police officer on Saturday. Silvio Dominguez Villapudua was driving his personal vehicle in the area of Obregon Avenue and 22nd Street, not far from the border, when he shot multiple times by someone in another car.
Later Saturday, city, state and federal police launched a joint operation during which four people suspected of being involved in the officer’s killing were, in turn, killed in a shootout with authorities.
The following day police detained another 10 people for questioning in connection with the officer’s slaying.
Police have not released the names of those killed or arrested.
With Tuesday’s killings, the city next to Yuma County has recorded 11 homicides in Feburary, up from eight in January – a number below the monthly average of 13.5 slayings in 2022.
Authorities attribute many of the homicides to feuding among members of rival drug cartels and other criminal organizations.