Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gunmen Shoot Three Men Then Burn Getaway Car In Mexicali, Baja California

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

In Mexicali, Baja California, three attackers shot three men who had just parked in front of a gym. The attackers then fled the area, immediately burned their own vehicle and entered a secondary getaway car, then fled the area.

The Shooting

On the morning of August 30, 2021, a young semi-professional basketball player named Everardo Montoya Osuna arrived at a shopping plaza with a brand new client who had hired him to be his personal trainer. 

Everardo Montoya had a well established sports career. He had previously played for the Ensenada Sea Lions and the San Luis Río Colorado Colorados. Both teams are a part of the Pacific Basketball Circuit (CIBAPAC) which is a professional basketball league. 

Everardo Montoya came from a well known sports family as his father, who had now retired to become a professor, was a renowned baseball player in the Mexicali veterans leagues. At 35 years old, Everardo was now taking on jobs working as a personal trainer for clients who wanted to improve their fitness. 

Mario Isaac Zamora Robles hired Everardo Montoya to become his personal trainer. Everardo was picked up by his new client, who was accompanied by a friend named Eduardo Baldominos. Mario Zamora drove them to a gym located in Montecarlo Square, in the Zona Dorada (or Golden Zone) area of Mexicali city, Baja California. 

At 11:30 am, Mario Zamora had just parked his vehicle, a black Honda Accord with Baja California license plates, near the gym when three gunmen appeared and began unloading their firearms into the vehicle. The gunfire was reportedly loud and sustained, and more than 42 bullet casings were later found at the crime scene. 

The three gunmen then entered their vehicle and quickly fled the scene. The attacker’s vehicle is reported as a white Toyota Solara by La Voz de la Frontera or as a Nissan Altima by Alfredo Alvarez and Síntesis

Mario Zamora sustained a total of 29 gunshot injuries while Everardo Montoya sustained 31 gunshot injuries. Both Mario and Everardo died before paramedics arrived on scene. 

Eduardo Baldominos, Mario’s friend who was sitting in the back of the vehicle, sustained an unspecified amount of gunshot injuries. Paramedics were able to provide medical support for Eduardo and stabilize him enough to be transported through an ambulance to a local hospital where he is reportedly recovering from his injuries. 

It turns out, unbeknownst to Everardo, Mario Zamora had a criminal record related to drug possession and misdemeanors. It is alleged that Mario Zamora or Eduardo Baldominos were the likely targets of the attack by the three gunmen. Prosecutor Hiram Sánchez Zamora confirmed at a later press conference that this was the first time Everardo Montoya had ever met Mario Isaac Zamora. Everardo Montoya had no criminal record and had in fact only ever been in contact with the law when he was the victim of a breaking and entering.

The Disposal of the Getaway Car

The three gunmen who had just shot Mario, Eduardo and Evardo were caught on security camera shortly after they fled the scene. In the footage below, the gunmen can be seen driving their Nissan Altima up to the side of a wall of the La Rioja subdivision. 

The video shows the gunmen exiting the vehicle, grabbing their equipment out of the vehicle as they go, tossing what looks like a tactical vest to each other. They then pour flammable liquid from a red fuel can inside the vehicle and light it on fire, disposing of the vehicle they fled the crime scene in. 

The gunmen then enter a different vehicle and flee the area of the burning car. Police have preliminarily identified this second vehicle as a recent-model gray compact car, possibly a Jetta as reported by Alfredo Alvarez

The Theories

The forethought behind the gunmen considering that their getaway car could be spotted following the attack, as well as the planning required to have a gas can and secondary vehicle ready suggests a degree of criminal sophistication. This planning as well as the financial freedom the gunmen have to dispose of a getaway vehicle suggests a criminal organization larger than a small scale operation was involved in the hit. 

At a press conference, Prosecutor Hiram Sánchez Zamora commented that the attack against these three people could be related to other crimes committed in recent days, specifically with some that occurred in the northern area of ​​the Mexicali valley, but did not explain what elements the FGE has to relate them.

The crimes that Prosecutor Sánchez Zamora may be alluding to are a recent series of homicides in Mexicali city and the Mexicali valley. This series has been attributed to the criminal organization Los Rusos expanding their territory and cracking down on local drug dealers or human smugglers who are not willing to “align” or pay the fee Los Rusos are requiring.

For further details on this crime spree by Los Rusos, please see this previous Borderland Beat story.

Sources: Milenio, Alfredo Alvarez, La Voz de la Frontera Article 1, Article 2, Síntesis, Zeta Tijuana Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, AFN Tijuana 


  1. Mexicali is going to continue to be violent just like Tijuana now that the Sinaloas are fighting each other for control. They will continue to heat up the plaza and to kill each other. CJNG is still present in that city but looks like the Sinaloas are more worried of taking control and to show who's more dominant of the two cds crews.
    MAYO against CHAPITOS war is very REAL..

    1. 8:47 but I thought it was just low level sicarios.


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