Texas Teens Killed in Mexico Triple Homicide

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A friend says two of three teens shot dead in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, had crossed the border from Texas for a party then stayed to buy a car.

Sixteen-year-old Carlos Mario Gonzalez Bermudez was a sophomore
at El Paso's Cathedral High School, and 15-year-old Juan Carlos Echeverri had been a freshman there last year. Both were Americans.

The nationality of 17-year-old Cesar Yalin Miramontes Jimenez was unclear.

All were killed Saturday at a Juarez car dealership.

Chihuahua prosecutors' spokesman Arturo Sandoval said. One was found inside a white Jeep Cherokee and the other two in the courtyard.

Cathedral High student Arturo Yanar said Tuesday he was friends with Gonzalez and Miramontes, and that they had been at a party together Friday night. He says he didn't know Echeverri.

He says he returned to the US after the party and that the others stayed because Gonzalez wanted to buy a used car.

There were no leads on suspects or a motive, Sandoval said. Two managers were also in the dealership during the attack. One refused to give a statement, while the statement from the other manager was not released because of the pending investigation, Sandoval added. At least 60 bullet casings were found at the scene.

Echeverri's father, Juan Carlos Echeverri Sr., asked for justice for his son's death, the El Paso Times said, citing a voice message it received.

The principal at Cathedral High said Gonzalez Bermudez mainly lived in Ciudad Juarez and commuted each day across the border. He said 20 percent of the 485 students enrolled at Cathedral are from Ciudad Juarez.

Gonzalez said the school's sophomore class had a prayer service Monday and officials planned a rosary service for the entire school later in the week.

"It's a lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, a lot of tears, a lot of coming together as a community to try to hold each other up and to try and make sense today," Gonzalez said. "How do you make sense of this meaningless tragedy? Hopefully this can really empower us to make a positive change in the border community because their deaths will have no meaning otherwise."

Many Ciudad Juarez residents travel across the border on a daily basis for work or study. Some Mexicans live in El Paso for safety reasons and commute to Ciudad Juarez.

"We're in the middle of this crisis in Juarez," Gonzalez told the Times, "And Cathedral opens its arms and its doors to a number of kids who are in this diaspora.

"I'm in awe of their love of Juarez, their anger at the injustice and their determination to survive this and to return and rebuild," he added.

Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world's most dangerous cities amid a fierce turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels. More than 3,000 people were killed last year in the city of 1.3 million residents.

Gonzalez said students at the school have had a number of relatives killed in the violence in Ciudad Juarez. A graduate of the school was killed last fall, he said.

"Our Juarez kids knew all three" of the teenagers killed over the weekend, he said. "It's a very tight-knit community. A lot of them car pool; that's how they know each other."

The Times report noted that the teens' murder was one of three triple homicides in Ciudad Juarez that weekend.

One shooting at a garage left three dead, including a 13-year-old boy, the newspaper said. The other incident involved a teenager, a woman and a 40-year-old man, the Times reported, citing the Chihuahua state attorney's office.

Three others died in separate shootings, the report said.

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