MORELIA, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities say at least five people died when gunmen opened fire on a group of community self-defense members gathered on a plaza in the western state of Michoacan.
Michoacan state prosecutors' spokesman Alejandro Arellano says seven more people were wounded in the attack Monday.
Arellano says about 300 masked community vigilantes wearing similar T-shirts arrived at city hall in the town of Los Reyes and announced they would take over policing the town.
Minutes later three assailants opened fired on the crowd, killing five members of the self-defense group, a police officer and a passer-by.
Self-defense squads have been forming in recent months in Michoacan and in neighboring Guerrero state by people fed up with extortion and kidnapping by drug cartels and other criminals.