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Attempted Assassination of Tijuana Police Official Leaves 2 Dead, 8 Injured

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Two gunmen died and eight people were injured when gunmen tried to kill a high ranking police official in Tijuana over the weekend. Baja California's Attorney General says the attack is revenge for cracking down on organized crime. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Shattered glass, two empty twelve packs of beer and charred bags of tortilla chips littered the sidewalk outside the house of the Chief of Police in Tijuana's Centerario neighborhood.

Yesterday, Oscar who's 15 years old and lives next door leaned on a car parked nearby. He and some other neighbors looked at the house and chatted.

Oscar says he was out in the street Saturday night when he saw six gunmen arrive. He says the police chief's teenage son saw them, too. He ran to tell his dad.

Oscar says he hid behind a car and watched as the police chief and gunmen battled it out. In the end, two children were among eight people injured after gunmen threw a grenade at the house.

Two of the attackers lay dead. Baja California Attorney General Rommel Moreno says one was San Diego's Barrio Logan. The other from Sinaloa.  He says both are tied to Tijuana's Arellano Felix Drug Cartel.

Moreno says this is one of the most dangerous groups law enforcement has been up against in recent months.

Moreno says the attack on the district police chief was revenge for the arrests last week of three other people, including a policeman, who are tied to organized crime.

He says in the past, many police would let suspected drug cartel members go. And police would even apologize to organized crime heads for the bother.

Moreno says last week's arrest shows a shift in culture amongst police as Tijuana wages an all out war against drug traffickers.

However, Moreno says there's still more work to be done to root out corruption.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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