Police identify suspect and victim in El Paso airport parking lot shooting
A man was shot and killed in a car Friday afternoon at an El Paso International Airport parking lot, the latest victim in a sharp rise in homicides this year.
Minutes after the gunfire, police took the alleged shooter into custody while he was trying to run from the scene. A woman was also being questioned in connection with the shooting.
Police spokesman Darrel Petry said the three people knew each other and were in a small red car that was driven into the short-term parking lot in front of the airport terminal about 1:40 p.m. The driver was shot.
The car stopped just past the ticket dispenser at the entrance of the lot. A man died slumped over in the front seat of the car, which had a New Mexico license plates. The shooting occurred next to a line of taxicabs waiting for passengers.
Andres de la Paz, a taxi driver, said he saw part of the incident. De la Paz said he was told by other taxi drivers that the red car had just passed the ticket dispenser when a man in the front passenger seat apparently shot the driver.
De la Paz said he was not fazed by the incident because he lives in Juárez, where shootings occur daily.
“El Paso is safe. The difference here is the police show up, nobody escapes,” de la Paz said.
Juárez has been in a bloody drug war since 2008 in which more than 7,200 people have been killed. It was especially deadly lately. Chihuahua state police reported 14 slayings Thursday and 15 homicides by Friday evening, including five people shot to death in a car.
Some travelers walking past the airport crime scene were concerned that the shooting could be spillover violence from the drug cartel war in Juárez.
“No, absolutely not,” said Petry, the police spokesman, though a motive had not been disclosed.
The case is the 10th homicide this year in El Paso - the third homicide reported since Thursday - compared with five in all of 2010.