A British businessman living in Mexico was killed in front of his teenage daughter by gunmen who opened fire on his car near the popular tourist destination Playa del Carmen, according to a state government source and local media.
The victim of the deadly attack on Saturday was Chris Cleave, 54, the source said. Cleave, a permanent resident of Mexico since 2013, was driving on a highway near Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo state when his car was approached by two gunmen who opened fire. His daughter suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries.
The teenager, Chloé Cleave, who was injured in the gunshot attack that caused the instant death of her beloved father, Chris Cleave, was reported out of danger when she was driving in her vehicle along one of the avenues of this beach town.
At about 10:00 in the morning, Chris Cleave was dedicated to renting apartments and houses to tourists, a lover of diving and healthy food, according to his friends, he was driving a red Audi-type sports car, when upon arriving at On Xcalacoco Avenue, he was paired with motorcycle gunmen, who shot him repeatedly.
49-year-old Chris Cleave, who has lived in this city for years, died instantly on the spot, while his only daughter sustained injuries that warranted his transfer to a hospital.
The girl, who just three days ago celebrated her 14th birthday with her father, was transferred to the Galenia hospital in Cancun where she was reported out of danger just a few hours after the attack, according to a family friend.
Three days ago Chris and Chloé happily celebrated the birthday of the young girl, who was her adoration and whose custody she had barely achieved three months ago, after a complicated battle with her ex-partner Mónica, daughter of one of the Riu partners.
Two suspects were arrested later Saturday on suspicion of participation in the killing, the prosecutor’s office of Quintana Roo said. A gun that may have been used was found in their possession at the time of the arrest, the office said.
The prosecutor’s office and local police did not respond to requests for further information or confirmation of Cleave’s identity on Sunday.
In a statement, the British embassy said, “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Mexico and is in touch with the Mexican police/local authorities.”
The embassy did not confirm his identity.
Cleave was a businessman who worked in real estate and had recently been threatened by a local gang, according to local media reports. A Facebook page in his name showed dozens of messages from friends on Sunday, expressing shock at the news of his death.
Mexico’s government stationed National Guard troops in Quintana Roo late last year in response to a rise in violence linked to organized crime, including gunfights that killed two foreign tourists and a beachfront gang slaying that sent hotel guests fleeing for their lives.
Organized crime groups intensified a fight for control of drug sales, extortion, and human trafficking, which has Quintana Roo on alert.
Cancun has always been a tourist destination for Americans on ‘Spring Break’, but it has become increasingly popular with British tourists and Instagram influencers.
Just in January, Federico Mazzoni, manager of the Mamita’s beach club in Playa del Carmen, was executed.
But the violence has spread to the area, with rival gangs regularly attacking each other.
Gang members launched a violent shootout in November last year at a tourist beach, in which two gang members were killed.
Two weeks before that incident, two tourists were caught in the crossfire of a gang battle in Tulum.
The German and American visitors were shot dead after being caught up in the violent incident.