Residents of the border town of Matamoros in northern Mexico were recovering from a night of terror on Saturday in which rampaging gunfire left civilians diving for safety.
The government of the border state of Tamaulipas said three gunmen, including a Gulf Cartel leader, were killed in the firefight with police.
A city worker who was apparently caught in the crossfire during Friday night’s shooting also died, and two civilians and two suspects were injured.
The drug gang’s gunmen opened fire after police and soldiers tried to stop one of their vehicles. Police found an armored vehicle and a .50 caliber sniper rifle at the scene of the shooting, which spread along city boulevards.
A total of four suspected gunmen were arrested in Matamoros, located across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.
During the ongoing shootouts, gang members hijacked vehicles and set them on fire to block roads. Roadblocks were reported at 15 points across the city.
Restaurant and mall patrons have posted videos on social media of people diving for cover on floors and behind walls.
Tamaulipas state officials said the deceased gang leader was Ariel Trevino, aka “El Tigre”, who led a feared group of Gulf Cartel gunmen known as the Scorpions. The government said Trevino headed the cartel’s lookouts and directed their operations in various small border communities in the region.
Gulf Cartel factions have attacked police and each other for years in and around Matamoros and the nearby town of Reynosa.