Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico BPM music festival: Gunman opens fire at club

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Media caption"All of a sudden we heard four to five very clear shots" - Valerie Lee, witness

A gunman has killed five people at a club hosting an electronic music festival in the Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen, in Quintana Roo state.

Among those killed are two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian citizen, Quintana Roo Attorney-General Miguel Angel Pech said.

The fifth victim was a woman who died in the stampede which followed the shooting, he said.

The shooting happened at the Blue Parrot club hosting the BPM festival.

'Lone shooter'

BPM festival officials had earlier released a statement on Facebook saying that "a lone shooter" outside the Blue Parrot nightclub had shot dead four people.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Blue Parrot club was one of the venues hosting the BPM music festival
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Blue Parrot club is near the beach in Playa del Carmen

They said three of those killed were members of the festival's security team "whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue".

Local police chief Rodolfo del Angel later put the number of dead at five and those injured at 15.

He told Milenio TV [in Spanish] that the shooting was triggered "by a disagreement between individuals inside the club".

'Shots mistaken for fireworks'

The festival, which is in its 10th year, is popular with foreign tourists, especially from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police were searching the beach outside the club

Valerie Lee, US editor of electronic dance and clubbing magazine Mixmag, was at the Blue Parrot when the shooting happened.

She told BBC Newsbeat that a security guard at first told her and her friends not to worry, that the sound was that of fireworks outside.

But when other people said they had seen a gunman, Ms Lee ran to a backstage exit and left the club.

Sidney Charles tweeted that he was DJing at the time of the shooting at the Blue Parrot.

Image copyright Twitter

Shootings in Mexican clubs are not unusual and are often linked to gang violence, but the venues targeted are normally those frequented by gang members rather than foreign tourists.

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