Skip to content

American woman killed by stray bullet during shootout between drug dealers in Tulum beach club

Mayan ruins of Tulum at tropical coast. God of Winds Temple at paradise beach. Mayan ruins of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

An American woman has been killed by a stray bullet after getting caught in a shootout between rival drug dealers at a beach club in the Mexican resort city of Tulum, officials said.

The US citizen had no connection to a suspected drug dealer from Belize also killed in the violence Friday night, prosecutors in the state of Quintana Roo stressed.

She was not formally identified by officials, but sources told ABC News the dead woman was Niko Honarbakhsh, a 44-year-old originally from Los Angeles who was living in Cancun, Mexico.

Prosecutors believe she was caught in the crossfire and struck by a stray bullet.

They denied a local report that she was romantically linked to the slain suspected drug dealer, stressing that a photo from the scene showed a different woman with him.

The suspected dealer — who was nicknamed “Belize” — had cocaine and pills when he was gunned down, officials said.

He is “identified for his probable participation” in “drug-related crimes” and “was part of a criminal group that generated violence in the state,”  the state attorney general said.

Suspects in the beach club shooting had been identified and police were on the hunt for them. They have not been publicly named as of Monday.

Foreign tourists have been killed in the past after getting caught in drug-related shootouts in Tulum, located south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

In 2021, California travel blogger Anjali Ryot and German citizen Jennifer Henzold were killed while eating at a restaurant after being caught in the middle of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.

Last year, the US State Department issued a travel alert warning Americans to “exercise increased situational awareness,” especially after dark, at Mexico’s Caribbean beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

With Post wires

With Post wires

Today's News.
For Conservatives.
Every Single Day.

News Opt-in
(Optional) By checking this box you are opting in to receive news notifications from News Rollup. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Message & data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Privacy Policy & Terms:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.