Mexico probe why federal cops fired at US gov car
- MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities are trying to sort out why a U.S. Embassy vehicle was shot up by federal police on a rural back road in mountains south of the capital, leaving two U.S.government workers wounded.
Officials from both nations said the federal officers were chasing criminals Friday morning when a hail of bullets was fired at the embassy sport utility vehicle, but the accounts left many questions unanswered.
The two American workers were taken to a hospital in the nearby resort city of Cuernavaca. One had a gunshot wound in his leg and the other was wounded in the stomach and a hand, said a Mexican government official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Hospital officials in Cuernavaca said the wounded were later transferred to a hospital in Mexico City in stable condition.
The U.S. Embassy did not release the names of the injured workers, who it said were heading to a military training base south of MexicoCity. Its statement said the employees and a Mexican naval captain traveling with them were fired on by a group of men, and were chased when they tried to escape. The naval officer was not seriously injured.
Mexico's federal police agency acknowledged that its own officers fired on the embassy's SUV, which appeared to be armored and has diplomatic plates. It said the officers were in the area hunting for criminals, but it did not explain what happened.
Its statement said at least four vehicles fired at the embassy vehicle on a road south of the capital, but it did not clarify whether any or all of them were federal police units. Federal police spokesmen did not respond to The Associated Press requesting further comment.
A U.S. official who was briefed on the shooting said later that all the shots were fired by federal police.
Mexican prosecutors said in a statement late Friday that 12 officers based in Mexico City were being held for questioning. Officers based in the capital have jurisdiction only in Mexico City and in four suburbs of neighboring Mexico State, not in Cuernavaca.
The embassy employees were on their way to do training or related work at a military base, the U.S. official said.
"Apparently the police were looking for some bad guys and they ran into each other," said the official, who agreed to discuss the incident only if his name was not used. "It looks like it was just a bad mistake ... they just shot and kept shooting."
The shooting broke out in an area that has been used by common criminals, drug gangs and leftist rebels in the past read full article