Mexico City killings: Three dead as police chase 'mariachi' gunmen

The victims had been at a restaurant when the shooting started around 10 pm media said adding that forensic officials had counted more than 60 bullet cases at the scene

The victims had been at a restaurant when the shooting started around 10 pm media said adding that forensic officials had counted more than 60 bullet cases at the scene

CITY-Gunmen with rifles and pistols killed three people on Friday, Sept. 14, and injured at least seven in a tourist plaza in downtown Mexico City, police said, adding that they were chasing three men dressed as mariachi musicians who fled on motorbikes. The capital was kicking off weekend-long independence day celebrations.

A foreigner, who was not identified, was among the eight others who were wounded, the prosecutor's office said.

Investigators later found 60 empty bullet casings on the ground.

Plaza Garibaldi borders one of Mexico City's most notorious neighbourhoods, Tepito, home to La Union gang, which police say is behind the increase in drug dealing and protection rackets. No details were released on the identity of the foreign victim.

Garibaldi, on the edge of the touristy, colonial historic center of Mexico City, is known for seedy strip clubs and dive bars, aside from mariachis.

One witness, who was at a restaurant with family and friends, said he quickly closed the curtains and barricaded the door with tables.

Local media reported that two people died of their injuries after the incident, which would bring the number of dead to five.

Homicides have surged since 2014 in Mexico City, an arts, food and culture hotspot for tourists from around the globe that has been spared much of the drug violence plaguing cartel strongholds, which has even hit resort towns Cancun, Los Cabos and Acapulco.

Videos circulating on social media showed musicians in the plaza playing their music around the time of the shooting, without skipping a beat.

Officials in the Mexican capital have blamed the rise in crime on drug dealing and protection rackets, while the government claims that at least one of the city's violent gangs is connected to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.