2 killed after rival gangs stage shootout in Mexican resort town

CANCUN, Mexico — Two suspected drug dealers were killed Thursday on a beach in Mexico near a Caribbean resort area as gunmen from rival gangs staged a shootout near hotels, authorities said.

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The confrontation in the coastal resort of Puerto Morelos caused guests at a nearby hotel to seek shelter, ABC News reported.

The attorney general’s office in the state of Quintana Roo said rival gangs faced off on a beach in Bahia Petempich, Puerto Morelos, and two were killed, according to Reuters. Authorities said armed individuals were spotted in the beach area of the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, adding that police “took the lives of two men who are presumed to be drug dealers,” according to KTTV.

The prosecutor’s office in Quintana Roo said nobody else was seriously injured in the gun battle, according to The Associated Press.

Earlier Thursday, police said that a group of armed men carrying long guns was seen in the area of the Azul Beach hotel, according to Reuters. One official said the group arrived by boat in pursuit of the men who were eventually killed. Another Mexican official said the incident appeared to have been a “targeted execution,” the news organization reported.

Staff members at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun hotel told guests to seek shelter, KABC reported.

Jim Wildermuth, a hotel guest from Atlanta, told ABC News that he heard shots fired at the resort while he was at the pool.

“We kind of looked at each other funny,” Wildermuth told the news organization, adding that his group ran to their rooms.

Mike Sington, a former executive, said he was at the Hyatt Ziva resort and posted video footage on his Twitter account.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts, which operates the Azul Beach resort released a statement, saying that hotel officials were “closely monitoring” the situation.

“No guests or employees were harmed. As always, the safety and security of our guests are of our utmost concern,” the statement said. “An investigation is currently underway and we are doing whatever we can to facilitate and support the work of local officials. Any questions about the incident should be directed to local authorities.”

According to Reuters, at least one tourist who was in the area was treated for a head injury, local television network Milenio reported.

Thursday’s shooting comes two weeks after a California travel blogger and a German tourist were killed in Tulum, the AP reported.