1 dead in Mexico helicopter crash, gunmen fire at responders

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A helicopter crash killed the male pilot and injured three women, and police who went to the scene were fired at by gunmen, security officials in the State of Mexico said Tuesday. A news report quoted a witness as denying there were any armed men and accusing officers of shooting the aircraft.

Officers responding to a 911 call in Sultepec municipality found the downed helicopter but also armed men in six pick-up trucks, a state security official said. The official said a shootout erupted, but declined to give further details. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

No bullet wounds were found in the dead pilot or the three hospitalized women, said a statement from prosecutors in Mexico State, which borders Mexico City on three sides.

The security official said the cause of the helicopter’s fall Sunday night was still under investigation.

The official denied an account by the Mexican news site Proceso in which a witness claimed uniformed officers shot the helicopter.

Elías Flores Sánchez, identified as a relative of the injured, was quoted by Proceso as saying the family summoned a helicopter for an aunt who fell ill during a Father’s Day celebration. When the aircraft was taking off with the aunt and two other women, the gunfire brought it down, he said.

“They’re making up lies. There were not armed people,” Flores told Proceso.

State prosecutors said federal authorities would also take part in the investigation.

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