Tepic, the capital of the west coast state of Nayarit, was the scene of a bloody armed clash between a group of gunmen and government forces in the Plaza Soriana shopping center between 1:30 and 2:30 PM this Saturday.
It is estimated that 1,500 shoppers were present when the gunfight began in the parking lot of the establishment.
According to information provided by the state governor, Ney González Sánchez, through his Facebook page, the incident started when an anonymous call reported the presence of armed men on board vehicles in the vicinity of the Plaza Soriana.
Mexican army and Nayarit state police detachments were sent to set up roadblocks and conduct a search of the commercial area. According to witnesses when the authorities entered the parking area they were met with a hail of gunfire from at least 15 armed men, plunging the shopping center into a scene of absolute chaos.
After several of the gunmen were killed in the parking area the rest fled into the store. A brief firefight continued inside the store where one wounded and one unhurt gunman were apprehended. Witnesses reported 3 gunmen escaped in a vehicle.
During the fighting the shoppers were evacuated from the store through a side entrance. The authorities did not release any information on wounded or dead civilians although at least one civilian, a taxi driver, was said to have died in the crossfire in the parking area.
Official reports state that 8 gunmen were killed and 2 arrested. Authorities suffered one state police officer dead and 2 others, a soldier and another state policeman, injured.
In addition, the Sun of Nayarit newspaper reported that since early Saturday morning, from 3:00 AM to 9:00 AM, there were several explosions and gunfire in different parts of the city, including Aveinda Insurgentes, Jacarandas, and in the center of the City.
4 other executions were reported in Tepic throughout the day. The total of 13 fatalities made Saturday the most violent day in Nayarit’s modern history.