Popular BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen ends in tragedy

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – A shooting inside a nightclub during a local festival has left several dead and more wounded.

The event occurred in the early morning hours of Monday at the Blue Parrot nightclub in central Playa del Carmen. It was around 2:30 a.m. when BPM concert goers heard gun fire erupt inside the nightclub which immediately caused chaos as approximately 2,000 people tried to flee.

In a press conference, Attorney General Miguel Ángel Pech Cen, says that so far investigators have determined that one person entered the establishment with a firearm. Two Blue Parrot security guards and one event assistant lost their lives, while a fourth person, a woman, was trampled to death in the stampede as club patrons ran for the exit. The club was reportedly at maximum capacity and without an official emergency exit.

The injured range mostly in age from 25 to 34 and were visitors to Playa del Carmen for the festival.

Investigators are relying on witnesses and security cameras to piece together exactly what happened, noting that BPM security initially tried to arrest the alleged assailant. Since the attack on Monday, three people have been arrested by police.

Of the 13-known injured, five were from other parts of Mexico and five were from the US. Two Canadians and one person from Colombia are also listed among the injured. One of the deceased was the club’s safety supervisor, Kirk Wilson, who was originally from Alberta, Canada. A second man, Rafael Antonio Peñalosa Vega from Veracruz, died of gunshot wounds to the head in IMSS hospital. The third death was that of a woman, Alejandra Margarita Villanueva Ibarra, who was trampled to death. Deceased are also  Geovanni Francisco Ruiz Murillo from Veracruz and  Daniel Pessina, a native of Italy.

The Blue Parrot is a regular host of the 10-year-long BPM Electronic Music Festival. The long-time city establishment has been closed. The shooting took place on the festival’s closing night.

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