Mexican officials said that nine people were killed, including children, during a shooting at a video game arcade in Michoacan state on Monday.
The prosecutor’s office, in a statement, said that two other people were injured in the attack. Among those who were killed were children aged 12, 13, 14, and 17, officials said in a report by The Associated Press and Reuters.
The office said that “four people arrived” and were looking for specific targets to attack at a business in the city of Uruapan. However, the assailants instead opened fire with military-grade weapons before “they immediately left the place,” according to the office. Police found 65 9mm bullet casings inside the business.
Eight people died in the shooting while another person died while receiving medical care, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Officials have not provided a motive in the attack.
In Uruapan, drug cartel violence is endemic. Officials over the weekend found the bodies of 11 people in grave sites in the city after officials got a tip while investigating a missing person, according to AP.
On Friday, gunmen attacked a police patrol, killing one officer and wounding more, AP noted. A senior leader of the Los Viagras gang in Uruapan led gang members to set cars on fire and implement road blockades, Reuters said.
Mexico suffered its worst year for murders in 2019, with a record 34,582 victims, according to official data released by the Mexican government last month, reported Reuters. It was the highest rate since 1997 when murders were officially recorded.
What’s more, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in its year-end report that the drug-related homicides in Mexico are at “epidemic proportions.”
Narco killings “continue to reach epidemic proportions,” but “there is little spillover violence in the United States” as Mexican drug cartels “generally refrain from inter-cartel violence to avoid law enforcement detection and scrutiny,” the agency’s report said.