Four employees of a restaurant in the Mexican resort of Acapulco and a taxi driver were pulled from a taxi and shot to death Wednesday as the Pacific coast city suffers a resurgence of violence.
An Acapulco police detective who was not authorized to be quoted by name said the killings occurred before dawn. The men had left work after the restaurant closed and were apparently heading home when they were attacked.
Acapulco is seeing a rebound in violence, which had calmed in 2014. The city of about 800,000 saw 404 homicides in the first six months of this year, compared with 281 in the same period of 2014.
The homicide rate still remains below the bloody peak of 524 killings in the first half of 2012.
Javier Morlet Macho, a community activist who sits on a citizens police advisory board in Acapulco, said the rise in killings suggests a new gang may be carrying out "a cleanup operation'' to eradicate rivals as it moves into the territory.
There was no immediate indication that the men killed Wednesday had anything to do with the gangs; they may have been targeted simply because they were on the streets at 2 a.m.
Morlet Macho said the killings were unusual, because gang killings in Acapulco "are normally very closely targeted against a particular individual ... but these men didn't have anything to do with it.''