A shooter has opened fire at a club in Mexico on the last night of BPM festival. Emerging reports confirm that at least five people are dead, another 15 injured.
Shots were fired in the early hours on the last night of the dance music festival in Playa Del Carmen, with reports coming in just after 3.30am.
Rodolfo Del Angel, police director of Quintana Roo state, explained to the Milenio TV station that the shooting came about because of “a disagreement between people inside” the venue. A statement from BPM said three security staff members died while trying to manage the dispute. Both authorities and BPM attribute the attack to a single gunman.
BPM issued their statement on Facebook: “We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation.”
Angel, who was at the Blue Parrot for Elrow’s closing night party, spoke to Dazed from Mexico. She said: “We were at Elrow, in the back of the club. We heard what appeared to be gunshots but a worker told us to calm down, it was just fireworks. People (sic) started getting up and again the shots started. My friends saw the shooter running across the back of the club shooting into it through a metal rail. One of my friends saw a person shot and bleeding.”
“Once the shooting stopped we jumped over that same fence and ran on the beach about 10 blocks. We were helped by some other party goers by letting us hang out in their hotel for a few minutes. They saw a guy shot in the head,” she added.
“After a few minutes we left that hotel and we saw police had a guy in custody and he was yelling ‘it wasn’t me’, as we turned the corner we heard another two shots and ran again. We finally found a taxi that stopped for us and brought us to our Air BnB.”
Angel described it as “extremely disturbing and sad”. “You see it happen on the news but you never imagine it could be you,” she said. She confirmed that she and her 15 friends at the festival were now in a safe place.
Charlene Grant, from London, was also at the Blue Parrot. She recounted how she escaped: “We were partying and thought the gunshots were firecrackers at first, then everyone went down like a sea and shots were being fired. People were in sheer panic and terror as (we) didn’t know if it was indiscriminate shooting or terrorists. After about 10-15 mins of laying on the ground we tried to escape over a fence, but it was too high. Eventually we were shuttled out and ran for our lives. (I) saw dead bodies on the ground and people covered in blood. It could have been me or my friends.”
Hector Escardo, a DJ based in Los Angeles, described the moment the shooting began: “People threw themselves on the floor after five-six fast shots. I did after maybe five, then stayed down, but some people try to run away. The back of the club (the beach) seemed the best way out. I went out after I saw people running, which seemed to be the police at the time.”
“My friend had a table by the dancefloor and he was taking a selfie when the shots fired behind him. The entrance is by the dancefloor so makes sense that the shooter came in and immediately shot. I was close by, I didn’t see the shooter but heard the shots.”
— Pipe Llorens (@pipellorens) January 16, 2017
Jackmaster, a Scottish DJ playing at BPM Festival, was one of the first to break the news, as he tweeted for festival goers to stay in their hotel rooms following the attack.
There has been no news from authorities on the reported person in police custody, though Mexican police have confirmed the mass shooting.
Video posted to Twitter showed crowds running from the scene, where people can be heard shouting “he’s got a gun”.
BPM Festival tweeted to advise people to stay indoors, adding that the festival was now shut down as police investigations begin to take place.
This story will be updated as we receive more information.
Someone has come into the club in Playa Del Carmen and opened fire. 4-5 dead and many wounded. Stay in ur fuckin hotel if you're here at BPM
— JACKMASTER (@jackmaster) January 16, 2017
It sounded like the gunshots were no more than 20 feet away from me.. still can't believe what happened.. luckily we made it out safely #BPM
— JΛRED. (@karedjelly) January 16, 2017
Possible terrorist attack/cartel shooting in blue parrot WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON
— George de Menezes (@georgedemenezes) January 16, 2017
— Tommie Sunshine (@tommiesunshine) January 16, 2017