An American family returning to the U.S. after a vacation in Mexico was ambushed by shooters just south of the Texas border, killing a 13-year-old boy and leaving three others wounded.
The attorney general’s office in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas told USA Today that the child was a U.S. citizen and his parents are permanent residents of the United States. The victims’ names have not been released, but local reports say the boy’s father, mother, and brother was injured.
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The New York Post reports the family had been visiting relatives in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. They were driving a Chevrolet SUV with Oklahoma plates. As they began their drive home, their SUV was approached by a vehicle driven by the assailants. When they refused to stop, the vehicles collided, and shooters fired multiple bullets into their vehicle.
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Another relative was driving in a vehicle behind the victims; that relative was uninjured in the attack.
The Spanish-language newspaper El Diario has identified the attackers as drug traffickers with the Cártel del Noreste. It is unclear whether the family had any connection to the attackers or if the ambush was random.
According to USA Today, the stretch of highway that the family was traveling is “high risk,” because it runs through an area that is disputed by multiple criminal groups, including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. As part of the ongoing turf war, there are often acts of violence on the road, which connects the city of Mier with Nueva Ciudad Guerrero.
The road runs along the banks of the Rio Grande across the U.S.–Mexico border from Texas.