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Two Americans fatally shot at the border had moved to Mexico for economic reasons, boss says

The commute from Tijuana to San Diego had become routine for friends Sergio Salcido Luna and Kevin Joel Romero. The two Californians, who had moved south of the border to save money according to their employer, thought they would beat the crush of traffic at the border crossing by arriving before 3 a.m.

But Monday morning they never made it to their jobs in San Diego.

As they sat in their Mazda truck at about 2:40 a.m. in the line of cars at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a gunman ran up and fatally shot both men with a 9-millimeter weapon, according to Baja California authorities. The gunman fled, and authorities said they have not determined a motive for the crime.

Luna, 25, and Romero, 28, both U.S. citizens, were on their way to work at a beer equipment maintenance company in San Diego. The owner, Matt Pelot, said they were hard workers who endured the sleep-depriving commute for family and economic reasons.

Luna, an aspiring mixed martial arts fighter originally from Bakersfield, was training for a bout in June. Romero had moved to Tijuana to live with his girlfriend because she didn’t have a visa to enter the U.S.

“They would come up and greet you with a handshake and a ton of respect. They were just good guys,” said Pelot, owner of West Coast Beverage Maintenance, a company that services draft beer equipment for bars and restaurants.

Baja California Atty. Gen. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez said that a small amount of drugs was found in the pocket of one of the men. Investigators, he said, would probe to see whether the murders were drug related.

Pelot said he didn’t think his employees were drug users or dealers. Luna, he said, would train regularly and Romero was a “family man” who had just finished the process to adopt his girlfriend’s son.

The men were killed about a half-mile south of the San Ysidro crossing as they inched their way forward in one of the lanes approaching the checkpoint. U.S. authorities are assisting in the investigation.

“We are working closely with Mexican authorities to ascertain all the facts,” said Joseph Crook, a spokesman for the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana.


Aspiring California pro fighter reportedly among 2 fatally shot at border crossing

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego

Comments () | Archives (18)

Sounds like a drug related killing rather than a random act.

Yep...probably a case of mistaken identity though too.

Silver or Lead

I hope mistaken ID...

Definitely drugs. Kind of a twisted take on American citizenship. How or why did they get citizenship, only to turn around and live in Tijuana, really? The whole story is off.

american citizens living abroad? oh my who would do that!!!!

in mexico!?@!?@!?

i guess you missed the part about the family and economic reasons

''kind of a twisted take on american citizenship"

i cant stop laughing. you are ridiculous.

or were the drugs placed on the men after the murder to make us think it was drug related. Hmmmmmm.

Interesting how some people know "definitely" what happened simply on the basis of reading a newspaper article. Some of us U.S. citizens prefer to live in Mexico. That doesn't mean we deserve to get killed.

"Baja California Atty. Gen. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez said that a small amount of drugs was found in the pocket of one of the men" SOUNDS LIKE A PLANT TO ME.....AN EASY WAY TO SOLVE THE CASE. PLANT DRUGS ON A BODY AND CALL IT A DRUG DEAL GONE BAD. CROOKED CORRUPT MEXICAN COPS.....

It is sad about the killings, but there are still too few details. If in the US, the crime would likely be eventually solved.

Who does this? an american who moves to Mexico for ecnomic reasons I'd rather live in the ghetto in L.A. than live in Mexico same difference.

@planetnymph...you need to work on your reading comprehension. According to the story, both guys were US citizens from California who moved to TJ for economic reasons. They were on their way to work in San Diego. I don't think the "story is off", but perhaps your reading skills are.

wow, funny how they found small amount of drugs in his front pocket......did anyone miss the fact that they were getting ready to cross the border...who in there right mind has drugs in pocket when getting ready to cross a international border sounds like it was put there after the shootings to make it a open and shut case!

Wow, amazing did anyone miss the fact that they were getting ready to cross an international border ?? who in there right mind puts drugs in there fron pocket while getting ready to cross a border ....this seems shady too me and another so called drug case in mexico !

It seems very strange how this happened as if it was a hit. There are thousands of people in line and the assassin of assassins targeted one car and ran. I’m guessing there is much more to this story however, if or when more information does come out, it will not be publicized as this story is. All people will remember is: “Two American were murdered at the border crossing”. For ten years I have crossed the same border twice a week and drive through Tijuana on my way to Ensenada and have never seen any of the things I hear about and read about on the news. Just when tourism starts to pick up again, something like the swine flu or this incident scares everyone away. Baja is quieter than ever before yet Americans in general believe it’s a war zone. There are so many isolated killings in Los Angeles that it’s not even news anymore so you just don’t hear about it. If Baja was a war zone, I wouldn’t be going either. It's just not the case

Here is the funny thing...these two US Citizens were probably living illegally in Mexico!

It is done all the time and it is very easy to do if you are already Mexican because you blend in so well. I know, I did it myself when I used to live in TJ and commuted to San Diego for my high paying white collar management job. I was paying $5o a month in rent and I had a balcony overlooking a nice canyon 15 minutes from the beach. This was all before the drug gangs came to town.

Mexico is a nice country, but it is so riddled with corruption and has such a huge income disparity that Mexico looks like what the future US will be when the plutocracy is running this country. It's not the illegals, it's the rich ruining it for the rest of us.

Your assumptions on a matter that you know only what you have been spoon fed are not valid. If you would read into any of the updates, you will see that it was not drugs found on one of the two....

My prayers and support goes out to the family. Our loved ones will be missed!

i was close friends with kevin and if you have kept up with the story you'll see that the drugs never existed it the story was reported by the police to right the case off as a drug related murder. it was a lot more complicated and out of respect to the family i'm going to leave it at that. and as far as living in mexico instead of the LA ghetto they lived by the beach in a lovely house that cost about 600 rent compared to the 2800 something like that would cost in ca


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