Three American citizens were taking an Uber Thursday night from a nightclub to their rented apartment in Rosarito, Mexico, when their Uber driver was shot and killed, Mexican authorities confirmed.
The 28-year-old Uber driver was transporting two men and a woman all U.S. citizens from the nightclub Papas and Beer to a residence at Club Marena, Rosarito police officials said.
The victim was shot multiple times by a driver who pulled up next to the Uber car in a black sedan at about 11:35 p.m., according to police.
Rosarito is a resort city south of Tijuana in Baja California.
The passengers in the Uber rushed to try and help their driver, police said. However, by the time police arrived on scene, the man was dead.
The victim was identified as Jose Humberto Felix Mendez of Mexico. There is no known motive for the attack.
None of the passengers were injured, a representative for the Rosarito Police Department said.
Rosarito is a coastal resort city in the Mexican state of Baja California located approximately 10 miles south of the U.S. border in Rosarito Beach Municipality.
Often mistakenly called "Rosarito Beach" because of the well-known Rosarito Beach Hotel, the town of Rosarito is one part of the municipality named Playas de Rosarito "Beaches of Rosarito".
Its beaches and dance clubs are a popular destination for young people from the United States during the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
Rosarito Beach is the seat of the municipality of Rosarito Beach. The city is the second largest in the Tijuana metropolitan area and southern beach city of the San Diego–Tijuana international metropolitan region.
Additionally, it is the westernmost municipal seat in Mexico, slightly farther west than neighboring Tijuana, which lies inland to its north-northeast. As of 2010, the city had a population of 65,278.
On December 1, 1995, Rosarito was converted from a suburb of Tijuana, to an independent city. Hugo Torres Chabert, current owner of the Rosarito Beach Hotel led the incorporation drive and was subsequently appointed to a three-year term as Mayor.
The territory surrounding the city became the fifth municipality of the State of Baja California.
The geographic city limits of Rosarito Beach Municipality are quite large, abutting the Tijuana city limits to the north, and Ensenada to the south along the coast and inland, however, the core settlement is compact.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Rosarito's growth was moderate but constant. The mid-1980s, however, was marked with the strong development of tourist-related businesses of obviously considerable investment.
Rosarito Beach was the source of rocks for the Pet Rock collectible of the 1970s.
Rosarito Beach lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean on the Baja California Peninsula. The city is positioned between the foothills of the Peninsular Ranges and the ocean. It maintains a relatively uniform topography and displays few variances in terrain.
Rosarito has historically been centered on tourism. It began with the Ortiz family's establishment of Rene's (Bar, Restaurant, Trailer Park and Motel) in 1925. Rene served his town holding the position Delegado (Mayor) more than any other politician in Rosarito.
Rene, a prominent businessman, helped create Rosarito from a ranch to a town which later became a city. When Rene was not able to serve his people any longer he chose as his successor Hugo Torres Chabert, a friend and owner of Hotel Rosarito.
While Prohibition was the law of the land, many U.S. residents began to cross the border into Mexico, where drinking was still legal. Tijuana seemed to attract a more speakeasy-oriented clientele, and Rosarito became a haven for the more well-heeled and Hollywood set.
Rosarito was visited by Hollywood film stars such as Orson Welles and Dolores del Río who were attracted by hunting (deer, quail and rabbit) and fishing (lobster, abalone).
While Rita Hayworth was married to Prince Aly Khan, son of Aga Khan III, the two would visit the Rosarito Beach Hotel, take over an entire floor, and bring their own staff, including a personal chef.
Other Hollywood visitors included Mickey Rooney, Ava Gardner, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In early 2008, Britney Spears made a one-day trip to Rosarito in an attempt to avoid the paparazzi; she failed.
A descendant of Maria Luisa Chabert Uriarte, the young wife of Manuel P. Barbachano the founder of Rosarito Beach Hotel, her nephew Hugo Torres Chabert led the drive to incorporate the city in 1995, and was appointed to a three-year term as Mayor.
In 2007, Torres Chabert ran for election and was overwhelmingly elected to a new three-year term. The subject of rising crime rates and police corruption were major issues in the campaign.
Torres Chabert, as owner of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, was deeply concerned about the safety of tourists, and pledged strong action to deal with both issues.
In early 2008, both federal and state police were ordered into the city along with neighboring Tijuana to reinforce the city's efforts.