OKC family attacked in Mexico identified
A family from Oklahoma City attacked in Mexico, resulting in the death of a 13-year-old boy, was identified Tuesday afternoon.
Simei Lopez, 13, was killed after his family was ambushed on a Mexican highway called Reynosa-Nuevo Laredo road in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
Simei was in Mexico visiting family along with his mother and father — Juanita and Oscar Lopez — and his 10-year-old brother, Abdiel.
Juanita Lopez, who was driving the family vehicle, was shot multiple times and is in critical condition at a Mexican hospital, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family. Abdiel, who was shot in both legs, is also listed in critical condition.
The attack happened on Saturday night as the family was returning in two vehicles from a holiday visit to relatives in the state of San Luis Potosi.
The highway the family was traveling is considered high-risk, according to the U.S. State Department as it runs through an area that's disputed by criminal groups, including the Gulf Cartel and Zetas.
One SUV of attackers passed the family and then cut them off, causing them to collide and come to a halt. Gunmen then opened fire, according to a statement from the state of Tamaulipas security coordinating group.
All of the wounded came from one of the family's vehicles, both of which had Oklahoma license plates. The gunmen escaped in another vehicle.
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The U.S. State Department confirmed the attack, releasing a statement Monday that also said: "We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss, and we are providing them all appropriate consular assistance. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into this brutal attack. Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment at this time.”