4 killed in gun battle in Sonora border town

2014-01-18T17:45:00Z 2014-01-18T19:42:03Z 4 killed in gun battle in Sonora border townBy Perla Trevizo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 18, 2014 5:45 pm  • 

A gunbattle between two groups left four people dead and at least three injured in the border town of Agua Prieta, across the line from Douglas, Sonora state police reported.

Residents reported the shooting at about 1 a.m. Saturday. When police arrived at the scene, they found five abandoned vehicles riddled with bullet holes and filled with bloodstains, they said in a news release.

In the driveway of a nearby apartment in the Centro neighborhood, which also had several bullet holes, officers found a Ford pickup with the body of Juan Miguel Favela Ramírez, 37, who died of gunshot wounds.

Later, officers found Luis Enrique Ceballos Barraza, 25, walking on a street with bullet wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The body of a third man, identified as Héctor Ulises Romero, 28, was dropped off outside a funeral home. Police say all three men were from the neighboring state of Sinaloa.

The body of a fourth man with gunshot wounds, who has not been identified, was found in a stream. Officers estimated he had been dead for eight or nine hours when found.

Police believe all four were involved in the gunbattle, they said in the news release.

At about 4:15 p.m. Saturday three people arrived at a hospital with bullet wounds described as non-life-threatening. Police identified them as Laura Lizbeth Morán Benítez, 25; Manuel Alejandro Márquez Navarro, 24, and Manuela Beatriz Pérez Suárez, 25, all of Agua Prieta. The three told police they were drinking in a car driving through the area when they were hit by bullets.

The abandoned vehicles recovered at the scene included a gray 2005 Chevrolet pickup without license plates; a black GMC Chevrolet with Sonora license plates; a 2008 black Chevrolet Tahoe, in which police found an empty cartridge and ammunition; and a red Dodge sedan.

The gunfight comes two days after Sonora state police reported the killing of three armed men Thursday night in an Agua Prieta neighborhood.

A well-known local athlete and businessman, Armando “Mandy” Moreno, was among the dead, El Diario de Sonora reported.

The three men were in a white pickup truck when an armed group in another vehicle started firing as they chased them, police said. The driver of the pickup lost control of the vehicle and it rolled. The armed group got out of their vehicle, approached the pickup and fired directly at the three men before fleeing at high speed, police said in a news release.

Military and state police officers searched for the armed men but haven’t found them, El Diario de Sonora reported.

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