The BPM Festival Shooting: What We Know

After a lone gunman opened fire at The BPM Festival’s Elrow event at Blue Parrot in the early hours of Monday morning, the festival itself has released a heartbreaking statement trying to clarify the ongoing, fluid situation:

“It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and 12 injured. The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.
 
“The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities (Seguridad Publica / Policia Turistica) throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors.
 
“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families and all those affected by these tragic events.”

An eyewitness account from Mixmag‘s US Digital Editor Valerie Lee described the chaotic situation:

“Security guards at first didn’t think it was shots and kept claiming it was fireworks, saying everything was OK. Then people kept running and said they saw a gun. We kept hiding until they opened the back gate and we ran outside.”

Valerie went on to describe how it looked like the shooter(s) did not enter the event, rather shooting through an open window from outside:

“Friends outside near the entrance were 20ft from the shooter. Bodies on the ground. Didn’t seem like shooters tried to enter the party.”

As of this moment the motive behind the attack seems to be drug cartel related, although details as to the specific nature of this relation remain sketchy. According to NBC News, officials would not comment on the situation due to its confidential nature, however, from what we’ve learned so far, amongst the victims are 3 festival security guards, with reports that one of the festivals organisers was also shot dead in a “revenge attack over the sale of drugs” (for now, I’d take this bit of “information” with a grain of salt). As you can see from the official statement the death toll stands at 4 with 12 wounded, however there are also reports the former is as high as 8 with the gunman still believed to be at large.  Aside from Blue Parrot, where performing artists included Sidney Charles, Sante and Technasia, there have been unverified reports of a second shooting at another BPM venue, “The Jungle”. A Press Conference is scheduled for later today and the country’s foreign office has released an official phone number (020 7008 1500) for anyone concerned as to their friends/family whereabouts. The BPM Festival was celebrating its 10 year anniversary from 6-15 January with most of its attendees being from UK & US.

As the story develops we’ll keep you updated but needless to say this is another senseless tragdy in a world seemingly beset by senseless tragedies. All those we know and all those we don’t are in our thoughts today as we all try and make sense of what happened.

Below are some of the reactions from the world of dance music:

UPDATE (4:03PM CET): “Rodolfo Del Angel, police director in Quintana Roo state, has confirmed to the Milenio TV station that the shootings at The BPM Festival were the result of “a disagreement between people inside” the Blue Parrot. He confirmed that security guards had come under fire when they tried to contain the dispute.”

UPDATE (5:42 CET): Death toll officially at 5 with 15 wounded.

UPDATE (5:46: CET): Blue Parrot was only BPM festival venue without metal detectors.

UPDATE (6:20 CET): Mexican officials state two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian were killed; 10 still in hospital.

UPDATE:

Deceased
1.- Kirk Wilson from Canada Organizer And Security Coordinator.
2.- Rafael Peñaloza Vega De Mexico.
3.- Daniel from Italy
“the other is not yet identified”

Wounded
1.- Hector Estrada Rivera, age 25, of the state of Mexico. Presents bullet wounds on the left shoulder. She’s in recovery
2.- Ateel Jacob Chavez Moon, age 26, of the state of Mexico. Impacts of abala presents in the right arm. Is in recovery.
3.- Wendy Isabel Ramos steps, age 26, of Chihuahua. Presents multiple bullet wounds. Was admitted to the o.r.
4.- Geovanny Harbour Zaragoza, age 30, of the state of Mexico. Presents Bullet hits you in the eye.
5.- Isaiah Montejo Sanchez. Presents Rozon of projectile by firearm in the back.
6.- Heather Parham, 29-Year-old woman originally from United States. Presents Bullet hits in the left butt cheek. She was taken to the ER.
At the hospital med beach
1.- Michael Angel Palenque, of 32 years. Originally from New York, United States. Presents a wound in the left arm.
2.- Didzo wage, of 47 years, originating in the United States, has a wound on the right side of the waist.
3.- Robert Griffin, 33 years old, originally from Canada, presents a wound in the left arm.
4.- Mario Jose Juan, 47 years old, originally from Canada. Presents a wound on his right arm.
5.- Andres Rivera, 30 years old, originally from Colombia. Presents two wounds on both arms.
6.- Ignacio Bust Valencia, age 26, of Texas. Presents two wounds on both wrists.

UPDATE (1:15 CET – 17 Jan): The attorney-general of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo has stated the motive behind the attack was “personal conflict” and the target was a man from Veracruz. 4 people have since been detained.

UPDATE: Mexico leans to suspend all future BPM festival events

UPDATE (18 Jan – 10:00am): Mexican Police are claiming this was in fact a Los Zeta drug cartel related incident specifically targeted at BPM co-founder Phillip Pulitano and rival cartels Los Golfos and Los Pelones. Signs have been popping up around the area reading: “It is the beginning, we are going to cut off the heads of Golfos, Pelones and chapulines. Sincerely, El Fayo Z from the old school”.

THIS POST WILL UPDATE AS MORE INFORMATION COMES IN