CULIACAN, Mexico – Gunmen who killed eight people and wounded seven at a pickup volleyball game in the Mexican state of Sinaloa were targeting the men at the game, authorities said Saturday.
Sinaloa prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera said while it has not be ruled out that the volleyball players and spectators were caught in a crossfire, witnesses have told authorities the assailants arrived with two people with covered faces who pointed out to the gunmen who to shoot.
"The attackers knew perfectly well who they were going to kill," Higuera said, adding that the shooting appears to be part of a conflict between rival groups.
No motive has been given for Friday's attack in the state capital of Culiacan, but Sinaloa is the home of the powerful Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Elsewhere, federal police arrested a suspected local chief of the La Familia cartel in the municipality of Chalco in Mexico State.
A statement from the Public Security Secretariat said the suspect, Hector Russel Rodriguez Baez, alias "El Toro," headed one of La Familia's most violent cells.
Rodriguez was allegedly in charge of drug sales and extortion in the area, and was involved in at least 20 murders, the statement said.
The La Familia cartel has suffered severe blows in recent years, including the death of its maximum leader in late 2010. Authorities says it is largely dismantled except for a few remaining cells in western Michoacan state and Mexico State.