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Drug cartel leader target in Cancun mall shooting

Cancun, Q.R. — A shooting late Monday night was reported in the parking lot of Gran Plaza in Cancun.

Initial reports say that a man was shot at several times by a passing vehicle in the parking lot of the Gran Plaza shopping mall in Cancun.

The shooting took place just before 11:00 p.m. One person suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital in serious condition after an exchange of gunfire occurred between two vehicles.

After the shooting, investigating police discovered an abandoned car with the lights still on and a flat front tire, possibly from a bullet. That car came up as reported stolen.

Police were also alerted to a second person being admitted to a nearby hospital for medical attention to a leg injury he said he received while walking. Police questioned his story and transferred him to another hospital under guard. He has since been released.

While there were no arrests, witnesses said that three armed men left the running car and fled toward Nichupté Avenue. Municipal police cordoned off the area and deployed a search to locate the armed men.

Final reports say that the shootout in the parking lot was directed toward an alleged drug leader Rafael del Angel VM, known as El Fayo. Rafael del Angel was reportedly running a personal errand at a nearby drugstore when the armed vehicle approached and began shooting at him.

One of the injured is said to have been an innocent bystander who was hit by a stray bullet in the head. That person has been identified as a 41-year-old teacher. His wife said they were leaving a nearby restaurant when they heard gunfire. They both hit the ground, but when she got up, her husband did not.

The second injured was Rafael del Angel VM who uses the name of Victor N in Cancun. He was reportedly hit in the leg by gunfire while attempting to leave the scene.

Rafael del Angel VM is believed to be a designated leader of a cartel cell. Police say they lifted six 9-millimeter casings from the parking lot. Investigations continue.