Gunman wounds US consular official in western Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Mexican police hunted on Saturday (Jan 7) for a gunman who shot and wounded a US consulate official who was driving out of a parking garage in the western city of Guadalajara. 

The consulate posted a video on Facebook showing the shooter, dressed in blue, waiting outside a shopping center’s garage on Friday (Jan 6), raising his gun and firing at the car before fleeing. 

The shooting left a bullet impact on the car window while the official is seen opening his door. 

Moments before the shooting, the official, who was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt, paid his parking ticket at an automated machine, according to another video. After the official walks away, the gunman is seen following him. 

The FBI offered a $20,000 (S$28,800) reward for information about the shooter. 

“An official from the US consulate was wounded by a shot from a firearm. ... According to the medical report, he is in stable condition,” the Mexican attorney general’s office said in a statement. 

The motive was not immediately known.  The statement said Mexican authorities are in contact with the US embassy and consulate in efforts to locate the shooter. 

The US embassy declined to give more detail about the shooting or the official’s title and identity.  US officials have faced attacks in Mexico in the past. 

In 2010, a consular official, her husband and the spouse of another consular official were killed in two simultaneous attacks in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, which at the time was considered the world’s murder capital amid an ultra-violent drug war. 

A year later, gunmen from the Zetas drug cartel opened fire on a vehicle of two US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, killing one of the officers. 

In 2012, two US government officials – widely reported to be CIA agents – and a Mexican marine where wounded in 2012 when they were shot at by federal police officers as they were driving in the central state of Morelos. 

Fourteen officers were initially accused of attempted murder but they were later put on trial on charges of using excessive force, with officials saying it was a case of mistaken identity. 

In a case that caused friction between the US and Mexican governments in 1985, undercover US agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was tortured and killed by the Guadalajara drug cartel.