'Mariachi musician' gunmen kill three in Mexico City

Mexico City killings: Three dead as police chase 'mariachi' gunmen

Eight others, including one foreigner, were injured in the incident at the Plaza Garibaldi in the capital's historic downtown, the city prosecutor's office said.

Investigators later found 60 empty bullet casings on the ground.

In a statement, police said the three victims were killed at an intersection on the edge of Plaza Garibaldi, a major tourist destination packed with mariachi bars, just as the capital was kicking off independence day weekend celebrations. They were still on the run as of Saturday night, and it was unclear if either of the people being questioned was a suspect in the shooting.

Four people died at the scene while another woman was pronounced dead after succumbing to her wounds at a hospital Saturday afternoon.

Mexico City has a much lower murder rate than other violence-plagued regions in Mexico where drug cartels battle for control, but the number of murders has surged in the capital since 2014. Mariachi musicians returned to the square around the same time the shooting took place a day prior.

The music and partying continued until after the city's chief of public security, Raymundo Collins, showed up at the crime scene, video footage broadcast on TV showed.

At the Tenampa cantina, which bills itself as having first brought mariachi troupes to the plaza in the 1920s, a manager said it was business as usual Saturday.

In 2013, USA civil rights leader Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death near the square after a dispute over a nightclub bill.

Plaza Garibaldi borders one of Mexico City's most notorious neighbourhoods, Tepito, home to La Union gang, which police say is behind the increase in drug dealing and protection rackets.

Hope said the shooters targeted a specific restaurant on the plaza in what may have been a shakedown for protection money or a hit on rivals.

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