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American man killed in dual bar shootings

April 1, 2013

A U.S. citizen was one of seven people killed in attacks on two bars that left another 14 wounded in Guadalajara on Sunday night.

Witnesses said a single gunman opened fire outside the bars in each attack, while officials said a total of 45 rounds were fired off from nine-millimeter handguns.

The first attack took place in Ruta 66 bar on Javier Mina in the Sector Libertad neighborhood to the east of the city center.

A 28-year-old male client and a 30-year-old waiter were killed in the attack, which took place at around 10.15 p.m.,while a 23-year-old waitress and a 31-year-old man later died in hospital. A 15-year-old girl was among seven people injured as a result of gunshot wounds and a homemade explosive device thrown by the assailants.

Fifteen minutes later, a second attack took place at Gol bar, located several blocks east along Javier Mina in the Colonia San Jacinto. U.S. citizen Jeff Lydell Comer, 45, died at the scene, as did a 20-year-old Mexican man. A 31-year-old waiter later died in hospital, while another seven people were wounded in the attack.

The assailants reportedly fled in a beige Blazer and a blue or green Voyager. Guadalajara Mayor Ramiro Hernandez told the local press that investigators have the license plates of the vehicles and are working to track them down.

Governor Aristoteles Sandoval criticized the “completely deficient” video surveillance system installed in the bars which was of no use to investigators. Blaming the previous administration that purchased the equipment, Sandoval said it was a “grave problem” which “prevents us from advancing in many cases.”

The motive for the attack is unclear, although local authorities said the two bar owners are related. One possibility under investigation is that the establishments were targeted because their owners refused to be blackmailed.

“There are several lines of investigation, the strongest at this point would point to organized crime (being responsible), due to the type of weapon used,” said Jorge Villaseñor, head of the Prosecutor General’s downtown office. No weapons or drugs were found on either of the premises, Villaseñor added.

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