MATAMOROS (Valley Central) – A woman driving in Matamoros saw what appeared to be the shooting and abduction of four American citizens who vanished on Friday. She asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.

The scene illustrates the terror that has prevailed for years in Matamoros, a city dominated by factions of the Gulf cartel who often fight among themselves. Amid the violence, thousands of Mexicans have disappeared just in Tamaulipas.

The woman said she saw the white minivan get hit by another vehicle near an intersection, then gunfire rang out.

Another SUV rolled up and several armed men hopped out.

“All of a sudden they (the gunmen) were in front of us,” she said. “I entered a state of shock, nobody honked their horn, nobody moved. Everybody must have been thinking the same thing, ‘if we move they will see us, or they might shoot us.’”

She said the gunmen forced a woman, who was able to walk, into the back of a pickup truck. Another person was carried to the truck by the gunmen but could still move his head.

“The other two they dragged across the pavement, we don’t know if they were alive or dead,” she said.

Mexican authorities arrived minutes later.

A video posted to social media Friday shows men with assault rifles and tan body armor loading the four people into the bed of a pickup truck in broad daylight. One was alive and sitting up, but the others appeared to be either dead or wounded.