A high ranking leader in the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez (also known as “H2”) and seven of his drug cartel members were shot and killed in the western state of Nayarit, Mexico by the Mexican Military.

A Mexican Navy official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said Friday that Patron and seven accomplices had opened fire on marines and had barricaded themselves in the upper part of a house in the Nayarit state capital of Tepic.

The official said that a helicopter gunship had been called in to provide “dissuasive fire,” to suppress outgoing gunfire from the structure on Thursday.

Use of such “minigun” weapons from a helicopter gunship is extremely rare in urban areas. They apparently have been used before by Mexican police, but usually only in rural areas.

The Navy said the helicopter gunship was used in accordance with its rules of engagement, “with the aim of reducing the level of aggression and reducing the risk of civilian or federal casualties.”

The Navy said that a grenade launcher and several rifles and pistols were found at the scene.- AP/Beloit News

This group was allegedly responsible for killing five military personnel in September 2016. His death is reportedly the 107th cartel leader either killed or arrested in the past four years.

Image courtesy of AP