A failed attempt by Medellin police to arrest gang members turned ugly on Tuesday when — in broad daylight — the gang and police exchanged fire, a civilian died and neighborhood residents turned against the cops.
Following the shoot-out, and confronted with the civilian death and two more injured, residents of the Limonar neighborhood, located in the southwest of the city, turned against the police.
According to the residents, the police were shooting indiscriminately into the neighborhood, which resulted in the death and injuries.
“They shot like crazy, without looking who they were shooting at. The only thing we were demanding was caution when conducting their operations,” a resident told newspaper El Tiempo.
“This is hell. The only thing we ask is that they respect us. There are children here and it isn’t right that because of a failed procedure they start acting like criminals,” another resident added.
According to the paper, a school, where some 100 children were attending class, ended up in the middle of an exchange of fire between gang members and cops.
The police say they responded to fire and that the killed woman was part of the gang.
Limonar is one of dozens of poor Medellin barrios that have been suffering extreme violence amid warfare between local gangs.