Saturday, May 1 2010 11:19 AM EDT2010-05-01 16:19:26 GMT
GRAPHIC PICTURES:CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It was one of the most gruesome sights in Cleveland crime history.
The serenity of Sandy Beach is what draws so many Americans to Puerto Penasco, Mexico but early Wednesday morning that peace was shattered by gunfire and what sounded like an explosion.
An investigation by Federalies and the Mexican military is in full swing after the shooting that involved suspected cartel members.
It started after three SUVs did not stop at a checkpoint. Several reports from Mexican media sources say heavily armed soldiers and federal police gave chase, even shooting from a helicopter at one point. It came to a deadly end at Bella Sierena, an upscale condo/resort on Sandy Beach.
There are also several reports saying the law enforcement operation was targeting "Macho Prieto," a high ranking member of the Sinaloa drug cartel. News of his death is circulating throughout Mexico.
Melissa Jacobsen shot video from the balcony of her condo at Bella Sierena, where you can hear the gun battle just a few doors down, "I kind of thought it might be gun fire, but when I opened the door, you know, I heard a lot of screaming in Spanish. And then all of a sudden, a big like, which we found out later, grenade go off. So at that point my family and I went into the master bathroom and basically huddled down in there for a good two hours, until about 7:30, 7:45, with just non-stop gunfire. At times it was literally right out our front door."
Once the shooting stopped, Melissa and her family went to the villa and couldn't believe the devastation, "we actually went in and got to see everything. I have tons of pictures, it was completely shot up, there was blood and gun casings covered the floor, just absolutely covered. Holes everywhere, glass shot out, cars shot up."
Shandra Keesecker, who's lived in Rocky Point for more than a dozen years, says visitors don't need to be scared but rather vigilante and pay attention to their surroundings. It's the same advice given to tourists whenever they travel abroad, "we know that this by no means is an illustration of what Rocky Point is and for those of us who live here and who visit here, that it continues to be a safe place."