Skip to main content

Gunfire erupts near Mexico stadium, sending soccer players fleeing

From Claudia Dominguez, CNN
Click to play
Stadium shooting in Mexico
  • NEW: "This is a day that should move us as a society," one soccer club president says
  • Spectators duck for cover under the seats
  • The gunfire rings out 40 minutes into the game
  • Military officials find an abandoned vehicle with weapons near the stadium
  • Mexico
  • Shootings
  • Soccer

(CNN) -- A soccer game was suspended after gunfire erupted outside a stadium in northern Mexico, sending players fleeing and spectators ducking for cover under seats.

See video of the chaotic scene inside the stadium.

Local soccer clubs Santos and Morelia were tied at 0-0 Saturday when gunmen attacked a nearby police station in Torreon city.

About 40 minutes into the match, thundering shots pierced through the noisy stadium.

Players and referees took off, leaving a soccer ball at the center of the field. Crowds ducked under seats as others scuttled through the field carrying children.

Commentators, who were dissecting the game seconds earlier, went quiet.

"This is bad, I think it's gun shots," a sportscaster says in Spanish.

Military officials found an abandoned vehicle with weapons near the stadium after a ground and air surveillance, the Notimex news agency reported.

The gunfire stemmed from an attack on municipal police in Torreon, Mexico's federal government said in a statement.

In a press conference later Saturday, the president of the Santos club, Alejandro Irarragori, urged fans not to let the day's events dim their spirits.

"This is a day that should move us a society. There are more of us who want joy, who want respect, and we are fighting for the true joy of our country, and this will not stop the efforts that we are making with this sport to bring happiness and excitement to our families," he told reporters.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in a Twitter post Saturday that the situation was "under control" and there were no fatalities, but he noted that the gunfire created "panic at the Santos-Morelia game."

Torreon is in the state of Coahuila, which like other border states, has seen a high level of drug cartel-related violence.

Last month, authorities in Torreon said they found 10 mutilated bodies inside the back of a truck, Notimex reported. contributed to this report.