For the second time in four days, a public plaza full of innocent civilians has been turned into a blood stained war zone.
Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m., at least three armed gunmen opened fire in a bustling downtown Monterrey shopping plaza, leaving five people wounded and a twenty one year old university student dead.
Last night, at a press conference, Adrian de la Garza, director of the State Agency of Investigation, announced the target of the attack was 35 year old Onésimo González Ramírez, a guard in Monterrey's Topo Chico prison.
"This is preliminary data and is not conclusive," he said.
According to witnesses, the main gunman appeared to be under 20 years old and traveling with two accomplices in a black and gray Toyota Rav4. Witnesses report seeing the young man get out of the vehicle and start firing at the guard, who had just gotten off a bus and walked to a nearby ATM machine in Morelos Plaza, just west of Juarez Street.
The shooting was said to have lasted for less than one minute.
Evidence found suggests the gunman opened fire using a 9 mm submachine gun.
"He got down from the truck at the intersection and just opened fire on another man. The other man was wounded and took off running." -Plaza Morelos shoe shiner
"We heard the shots and then all of a sudden people just starting falling to the ground, one by one, screaming". -witness
"People where just dropping everywhere. Everyone was screaming, there was so much blood. It was horrible. Everything happened so fast, I didn't understand what was going on. Then a guy from a store saw me and yelled: Drop to the ground, Drop to the ground!! and I did, I dropped to the ground and crawled on my belly to his local where he let me in."
-anonymous 19 year old witness
anonymous witness testimony
The guard was found shot in the neck and taken to San Jose hospital where he is, at this time, reported in stable condition.
A young woman dressed in a red sweatshirt, black athletic pants and gray tennis shoes lost her life in front of a computer printer store. Unofficially, it is said she received at least one shot to the head.
Relatives who arrived at the plaza, identified her as Lucila Quintanilla Ocañas, 21, who had been shopping at the plaza and at the time of the shooting, speaking by phone with her boyfriend.
According to her Mother, she was a student of Visual Arts at the University of Nuevo Leon.
Lucila Quintanilla O.
Three other women and one man were also found wounded in the attack. The State Health Ministry has reported 2 in critical condition and two in stable condition.
The deputy secretary of the department, Francisco Gonzalez Alanis, explained that a 26 year old man was admitted with bullet injuries in the pelvic region which have caused extensive vascular damage. He is reported to be in very critical condition at this time.
A 55 year old woman is also reported in critical condition after gunshots to the abdomen severed several vital organs.
Two women are in stable condition. One with a fractured tibia, and another, who is expected to be released from the hospital this afternoon, with injuries to her arm and shoulder.
The prison guard, although shot in the neck, is in stable condition. Although the bullet penetrated the neck area, it caused only only tissue and muscle damage.
Gonzalez Alanis reiterated that all hospital costs, which is estimated to be several millions of pesos, will be absorbed by the state as well as any subsequent psychiatric care for witnesses, victims and their families.
The Attorney General announced today a reward of 250,000 pesos for anyone with information leading to the identity and apprehension of the unknown gunmen.
Last Saturday, October 2, in an unprecedented event in Nuevo Leon, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into a crowded public plaza in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, injuring 14 people, including six children.