EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Violence erupted Thursday afternoon in Juarez, Mexico, with a radio crew gunned down outside a pizzeria and assailants firebombing several convenience stores.
Around 8 p.m., armed individuals attacked a Little Caeser’s Pizza restaurant on Ejercito Nacional Avenue in South Juarez, where a radio station was broadcasting live, promoting the restaurant on-air.
Mexican media said the gunmen shot and killed four employees from SWITCH 105.9 FM. Three others were injured.
At about 5 p.m., also in South Juarez, individuals threw Molotov cocktails into an Oxxo convenience store.
El Diario de Juarez also reported that two women — an employee and an applicant — died after unknown individuals threw Molotov cocktails into a Rapiditos Bip-Bip store.
The newspaper reported that four people were shot at a Circle K. There were several other shootings and firebombings throughout the evening.
At about 1 p.m. Thursday, a fight between rival gangs left two inmates dead and 20 injured inside the city’s Cereso 3 prison.
According to a statement from the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office, prison officials called on the state police, the Juarez municipal police, the Mexican army and National Guard to help restore order.
Initially, prosecutors said three inmates died but later said it was two, according to the Associated Press.
Several stores, including large grocery stores like S-Mart, closed their doors early.
Del Rio liquor stores posted on social media that stores would close for the safety of workers and customers.
In a Facebook post, Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar condemned the violence, calling the attacks “cowardly.”
“Yes,” he said. “Today we Juarenses are in mourning but also on this terrible night there are hundreds of elements that are working in Juárez and for Juárez.”
Perez said the city and the municipal police are coordinating with all levels of government.
“We have not lowered our guard,” he said. “I trust each of our police officers, our (police chief) and his entire team that has not left the streets and is on the front line.”