EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Mexican police are looking for a lone gunman believed to be responsible for the shooting deaths of four women early Tuesday inside a Juarez bar.
The man wearing a red hoodie shot the women at close range shortly after midnight at El Manantial Bar in the eastern part of the city. A 27-year-old man, police say was a roving musician, was shot in the leg during the attack but survived.
Juarez investigators believe the women — all in their 20s and 30s — worked as hostesses at the bar located next to a beer depot along Ejercito Nacional Avenue, one of the city’s busiest avenues. A police unit specializing in crimes against women is leading the investigation, as the female employees appear to be the target of the attack.
The Crimes Against Women department had not established a motive for the quadruple murder as of Tuesday afternoon. However, sources at the state police station said two of the victims previously worked at another bar where the manager was shot to death in September, allegedly over a drug deal.
Authorities identified the women only by their first names: Karla Yareli, 21; Sara, in her mid-20s; Anel, in her mid-30s; and Viviana, also in her 30s. Investigators recovered 10 shell casings at the scene from a 9mm gun and a .45 pistol. Police were also checking possible footage of the gunman from closed-circuit cameras located at an adjacent shopping center. Police said the bar and two nearby businesses remained closed late Tuesday.
A total of 158 women have been murdered this year in Juarez, a city that has tallied 1,452 homicides so far this year, according to the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office. Authorities attribute most of those murders to the sale or trafficking of illegal drugs.
Juarez is located across the border from El Paso, Texas.