Gunman Dressed as Clown Kills Former Mexican Drug Lord

PHOTO: Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, a former leader of the Tijuana Cartel, is shown in this mugshot.

A notorious member of a once-feared Mexican drug cartel was shot to death at a rented beach house in Los Cabos, Mexico, by a gunman dressed as a clown, authorities said Saturday.

The body of Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, of the Arellano Felix drug clan, was found dead at the beachfront home in the resort town, the attorney general's office in Baja California Sur state said in a statement. Relatives confirmed his identity at the scene, according to the Associated Press.

"He was hit by two bullets, one in the chest and one in the head," Isai Arias, a Baja California state government official told the BBC.

The gunman wore a clown costume, donning a wig and a red nose, the Associated Press reported. The killer's motive and choice of costume are under investigation.

The 63-year-old was best known for controlling the drug trade in Tijuana in the 1990s alongside his brothers, according to the AP. But the arrests or death of many of the cartel's leaders stunted the power of the gang.

The former cartel leader was behind bars for more than a decade following his 1993 arrest in connection with the murder of a Roman Catholic Cardinal, the AP reported.

The Arellano Felix drug gang, also known as the Tijuana Cartel, was considered to be one of the most violent and aggressive drug trafficking operations, according to PBS. The organization was ruthless in their transporting of large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and heroin into the United States from Mexico.

Security experts believe the drug gang is now run by other members of the Arellano Felix family, according to the AFP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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