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Sinaloa cartel shootout in Agua Prieta leaves nearly a dozen people dead

DOUGLAS, Ariz. – A bloody gun battle in the border town of Agua Prieta, just across from Douglas, claimed the lives of nearly a dozen people.

Three others were taken to the port of entry and transported to hospitals in the United States including a 12-year-old boy who was airlifted to Tucson.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told News 4 Tucson, the gun battle started Monday afternoon. He said they received information that the gun battle was the result of an internal rift within the Sinaloa cartel.

Sources told News 4 Tucson four cartel members showed up at the port of entry asking for asylum and claimed “credible fear”.

Authorities took them into custody.

The Sinaloa drug cartel is the most ruthless and dangerous of the cartels. Evident by Monday’s gun battle in broad daylight. He recounted an incident that occurred “one of the victims that had been shot was taken to a hospital in Agua Prieta,” Dannels said. “The cartel members who wanted him dead followed him to the hospital where they shot and killed him.”

A vehicle involved in Monday’s shootout in Agua Prieta.

Most people on both sides of the border say they are scared. The Douglas/Agua Prieta communities are connected. Most of the residents travel back and forth on a daily basis whether it is to buy groceries or go to the doctors.

One Agua Prieta resident said she crosses the border minimum twice a day. She drops off her daughter at school and then picks her up. So even though she’s frightened about the shootout she says she will have to be extra cautious and hope she nor family members get caught in the crossfire should this happen again.

A Douglas resident told News 4 Tucson he’s having second thoughts about going into Agua Prieta. He adds he wants to feel safe and at this time he is just not feeling that.

Sheriff Dannels said he along with other law enforcement agencies are responsible for the safety and security of the public and intends to continue working with the law-enforcement partners to make sure the residents are safe.

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Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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