American tourist in Cancun reportedly wounded in crossfire of jet ski gunmen

A Kentucky woman vacationing in Cancún was reportedly wounded by a stray bullet fired by a pair of gunmen on jet skis who left two people dead in an apparent turf war between rival drug gangs.

The tourist – identified only as Kanya N. – was relaxing under a palm-roofed hut in the Mexican resort on June 11 when the seaborne attackers opened fire, spraying 10 to 15 rounds before zooming off, according to Vice.

The two people killed in the brazen shooting were believed to be vendors who hawked products to tourists – but some of the street merchants also double as drug dealers who supply visitors with cocaine and marijuana, the news outlet reported.

Aftermath of the shooting at Playa Tortugas in Cancun.
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Kanya was reportedly shot in the shoulder, but attempts by Vice to find out about her condition were unsuccessful.

The shooting at Playa Tortugas – a popular beach spot along Cancun’s Hotel Zone — was apparently the result of a territorial dispute between rival factions.

Police investigating the deadly attack cleared the beach of unlicensed vendor huts in an apparent effort to rid the area of drug dealers, Vice reported.

Later that day, shots were fired at the local branch of the state prosecutor’s office that combats small-scale drug trafficking, though it was unclear whether the incident was related to the previous day’s attack, according to the outlet.

Security at Playa Tortugas after the shooting.
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The Yucatán Peninsula state of Quintana Roo — which encompasses Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel — is known as a landing spot for narcotics coming from South America, as well as a drug consumption hub due to the large presence of visitors, Vice reported.

During the first four months of 2021, there were 209 homicides in Quintana Roo, compared with 266 during the same period last year – though the majority of the killings occur outside the resort areas frequented by tourists.

Although the use of jet skis by gunmen is uncommon, it is not without precedent, according to Vice, which reported that in 2018, a street vendor in Cancún was targeted by assailants on a jet ski, but no one was hurt.

The scene of the shooting at Playa Tortugas.
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