By Armando V. Durazo / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 05/11/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT
The Juárez police director, the No. 2 man on the city's police force, was shot and killed early Saturday as violence continues to rock the city of more than 1 million, officials said.
Officials said Juan Antonio Roman Garcia, 54, was gunned down shortly before 2 a.m. near the intersection of Grosella and Manuel J. Cloutheir, which is close to his home.
Reaction to the killing was swift from the head of the police department, Guillermo Prieto Quintana, who said he was saddened by the slaying of Roman Garcia, cautioned all police officers to be careful while working and during their off-duty hours.
Police said Roman Garcia was traveling in his pickup when he was ambushed. He was shot several times and was found dead when other officers arrived at the scene.
Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said the death of Roman Garcia has placed the city in mourning, but he also warned warring drug cartels that have been blamed for the violence.
"This administration will not waver by these attacks by organized crime who want to destabilize the public safety department," he said.
Roman Garcia's death follows a resurgence of violence, which for a short while seemed in check after Reyes Ferriz sought and received help from the federal government to combat the violence. The federal government sent 2,000 soldiers and federal officers to help patrol the city.
On Friday, a police commander and two bodyguards survived an attack while on patrol. Their bullet-riddled truck smashed into a light pole.
The three were taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not known Saturday night.
In recent days, several people were killed, including two in a gunbattle on the Avenida Juárez tourist strip. Five people were wounded in that shooting.
"We know that organized crime will continue attacking with violence," Reyes Ferriz said.
"Faced with this reality, the municipal government ratifies its commitment with residents of Juárez to participate with all energy on the agreement of measures to be taken by the three levels of government until we can reach the peace Ciudad Juárez deserves," Reyes Ferriz said .
Submitted by Don W.