EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An armed group entered the notorious Cereso state prison and sparked a riot and deadly prison escape Sunday morning in Juarez, Chihuahua state officials said.
The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office said in a news release that 24 inmates escaped from the Cereso No. 3 prison, while 10 guards and four inmates were killed. At least 13 others were injured. (Cereso is short for Centro de Reinserción Social.)
Investigators say armed men arrived at the prison in armored vehicles around 7 a.m. when they shot at the security officers.
According to Juarez police, inmates who escaped reportedly committed several carjackings and stole vehicles that they used in their escape.
During a news conference, Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar said that municipal police had a shootout with some suspects in the prison escape several miles away from Cereso and three suspects were killed and five people were arrested.
Juarez police also reported that several shootings took place around Juarez at the same time as the riot and escape from the prison. Police say those incidents served as distractions.
According to the AG’s Office, just minutes before, an armed attack against municipal police was reported on Avenida Manuel Gómez Morín, about 8 miles away. After a chase, four men were captured and a Ford Expedition truck was seized.
Later, on the Panamerican Highway, officers were able to fight off an attack by two individuals in a Humvee-type vehicle, gunning down both assailants.
After seven hours, Juarez police and members of the Mexican army were able to contain the riot inside the prison. The number of casualties that resulted from the riot was not immediately known Sunday afternoon.