Police in southern Mexico have shot and wounded a German student while on the hunt for a gang, in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. The shooting happened in the crime-plagued Guerrero state.
The 25-year-old German student was shot on Sunday while traveling in a van through Chilpancingo, capital of the state of Guerrero. He was one of a group of students in the van on their way back from the seaport of Acapulco.
State prosecutors said the van ignored a checkpoint set up by state police, following clashes with a gang. Police tried to stop the van, believing it to be suspicious, and opened fire after hearing what sounded like a shot or detonation. The students, fearing they could be kidnapped, kept driving.
"(The van) didn't stop, and some agents used their firearms, because a noise similar to a gunshot was immediately heard," the Guerrero state government said in a statement.
A spokesperson told a press conference that officers shot at the bottom of the van, trying to make it stop. Between 15-20 officers are undergoing questioning and their weapons are being tested.
The wounded student is in a stable condition and expected to recover, according to a tweet from his school, the Monterrey Institute of Technology.
The shooting comes as Guerrero faces a scandal involving local police affiliated with Guerreros Unidos criminal gang in the city of Iguala. It's feared the cartel executed 43 missing students and that police were complicit in their abduction.
jr/sb (AP, AFP)