Rocky Point Man Murdered in Hospital After Surviving 35 Rounds From Assassins At Start of Spring Break

A Rocky Point, Mexico man was murdered in a local hospital at the start of Spring Break last Saturday, after gunmen failed to kill him in a high-speed chase through the streets, sources confirm to New Times.


Javier Celaya Vega, 21, was driving a white 2004 GMC Sierra through the city about 4:30 p.m. Saturday when assassins opened fire on his car, pumping 35 rounds into his vehicle. Responding officers found no one inside the truck, so they searched the surrounding area and found Vega wounded, but alive.

Officers took him to the general hospital in Las Brisas del Golfo, but gunmen with AK-47s showed up shortly after to finish him off -- the assassins shot him four times in the emergency room and nine times overall.

Mexican newspaper El Imparcial published an account of the killing on Tuesday, which was criticized by readers on its comment board who suggested authorities kept it quiet during the city's Carnaval festival. New Times reported in this week's cover story on tourism to Rocky Point and the issue of safety there -- and how publicity of crime in Rocky Point concerns locals and boosters alike.

Rocky Point Police Chief Lazaro Hernandez Bravo told El Imparcial police were busy responding to reports of gunmen at the Carnaval at the time of the assassination in the hospital, which is why Vega was unguarded. Hospital workers are reportedly seeking a meeting with the Mayor to discuss the need for increased security in the event of shootings.

Published accounts of the assassination are unclear as to how many gunmen chased Vega or why. New Times sources indicate Vega was a local but the gunmen were out-of-towners.

The issue of safety in Rocky Point -- and Mexico in general -- is complicated, as detailed by my colleague Ray Stern in this week's cover story. But last week's murder is sure to give second-thoughts to Gringos thinking about a trip to Rocky Point.

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Gregory Pratt
Contact: Gregory Pratt