An injured woman is pictured near the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Ro state, Mexico where five people were killed during a music festival on Jan. 16, 2017.
MEXICO: One Canadian was among at least five people killed Monday in a shooting at an electronic music festival in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen, authorities said. Quintana Roo state Attorney General Miguel Angel Pech ruled out any terror attack, but said the shooting erupted when festival security personnel tried to stop a man from entering the club with a gun. The shooting set off a bloody stampede by screaming concertgoers at the international festival in the resort. Pech said three of those killed were part of the security detail at the festival. Pech said the shooting happened at the Blue Parrot nightclub about 2:30 a.m. Blue Parrot is one of the BPM Festival’s venues in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun. The gunman apparently fled after the attack. State officials initially said the dead included two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian. The Quintana Roo state government said the dead included Kirk Wilson, a Hamilton, Ont.-based father who the state identified as the BPM security supervisor at Blue Parrot, as well as Daniel Pessina and Rafael Antonio Penaloza Vega, whose nationalities weren’t disclosed. Global Affairs Canada released a statement Monday night saying Wilson was the only Canadian killed in the shooting. The department also expressed its sympathies to Wilson’s family and friends. “The second fatality that was previously reported in the media as being a Canadian has been identified as not a Canadian citizen,” Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Natasha Nystrom told media in an email, adding officials are unable to release additional details on the victims due to privacy reasons.
“Consular officials in Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City are in ongoing contact with local authorities as they continue to address this tragic incident, and are providing consular assistance to Canadian citizens affected by the incident, including two who have been injured.” Local media identified the two injured Canadians as Robert Griffin, 33, and Mario José Juan, 47. Pech added three people had been detained nearby, but it was unclear whether they were involved in the shooting. “We know of another shooting incident that occurred near the nightclub, but we are investigating whether that is related to the nightclub shootings,” Pech said. The government of the township that includes Playa de Carmen referred in a statement to “attackers who fired shots,” but did not provide further details. The shots set off a rush for the exits that accounted for at least some of the injuries. The lone female victim was apparently killed during the stampede. Rescue workers tended to bloodied survivors and Pech said 15 people were injured, including one Mexican woman who was seriously hurt. Pech said eight of the injured – including two U.S. citizens – had been treated for less serious injuries at local hospitals and released. Italy’s Foreign Ministry confirmed one of its citizens died. The gunman began to exchange fire with another person inside, Pech said, and festival security personnel who tried to stop the shooting came under fire. He said 20 bullet casings from three different pistols were found at the scene and that it was unclear if the security detail had been armed or fired any of the weapons. Rodolfo Del Angel, director of police in the state of Quintana Roo, told the Milenio TV station that he shooting was the result of “a disagreement between people inside” the nightclub and said security guards had come under fire when they tried to contain the dispute.