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‘I saw them shoot the guys from behind,’ says witness to Juarez bar shooting that killed El Paso man

San Martin Cantina shootings
Canal 44
San Martin Cantina in Juraez, where an El Paso man was shot and killed.
Mario Torres' race car courtesy Carreras De Terraceria
courtesy Carreras De Terraceria
Mario Torres' race car.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- Two people were gunned down over the weekend at a Juarez bar. On Tuesday, it was disclosed that one of the victims was a U.S. citizen living in El Paso.

The deadly shootings happened at the San Martin Cantina on Saturday night. El Pasoan Mario Torres was among the two killed, according to the victim's brother.

"I saw them shoot the two guys from behind and immediately they walked away," said a witness who was there with his family at the time of the gunfire.

The witness said there were two gun man it they only shot the two victims and ran out.

The witness told ABC-7 he was confused at first because he was having a good time.

He said when he heard the gunshots he thought it was fireworks at first,, then he saw everybody get under the tables: "It was unreal. It felt as if as everything was happening in slow motion."

Friends told ABC-7 that Torres was a race car driver in El Paso and Juarez. They described him as a hard-working and caring person who loved cars and motorcycles.

Last week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visited Juarez to hold a press conference about security problems after Juarez had it fourth deadliest year in history.

Lopez Obrador admitted Chihuahua has a "homicide problem." The state of Chihuahua saw almost 1,300 crime-related homicides last year, and most of those were in Juarez.

Retired El Paso Deputy Chief and former U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte told ABC-7that there has been an increase in crime along the Texas border area.

"I think we are going to continue to see this type of violence throughout Mexico until the government of Mexico can get a handle on the situation and go after the cartels and try to eliminate them," said Almonte.

Almonte told ABC-7 that drug cartels are one of the main reasons for the increase in violence saying, "the violence is a result of the war going on with the different cartels trying to maintain control of the drug and human trafficking routes."

Friends and family said Torres' funeral services will be held in Juarez, where his family lives.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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