Here is an excerpt from Julian Cardona's Reuters article:
"Gunmen with automatic weapons burst into a Mexican strip club on the U.S. border, opened fire on patrons and killed six people including an American soldier, the army said on Wednesday. The hooded gunmen stormed into the bar in Ciudad Juarez as strippers were dancing for customers, sought out the six men and shot them each several times. A 26-year-old off-duty U.S. soldier who had crossed over from El Paso, Texas, was among the dead, army spokesman Enrique Torres said. 'It appears drugs were being sold at the place,' Torres said of the strip joint. 'The hitmen went directly for their victims, no one else.' The suspected drug hitmen escaped the bar easily, while panicking customers fled in their cars as pools of blood gathered around spent bullet cases on the bar floor." Link to Full Article
Analysis: This news story just left me speechless, and made my stomach completely sink. Separate news reports said the soldier was actually a US Air Force staff sergeant, named David Booher, stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. He was originally from El Paso, so he was probably home on leave and went across the border with some of his hometown buddies. I don't know if that was the case, as it's 6:00 pm in New Mexico right now, and there's likely no one at the base public affairs office right now.
But what the hell was an active duty servicemember doing in a Cuidad Juárez strip club?
Current military policy prohibits military members from traveling to certain parts of Mexico without explicit permission from their commanders. My military sources tell me they're waiting for the investigation to reveal whether or not the soldier had that permission.
The most important question that begs a firm answer is, was he targeted for execution, and if so, why?
While I hate this fact, US military members sometimes use drugs, and sometimes even deal drugs. I know because I was one of the people who investigated them. Was Booher somehow involved in the drug business, and if so, was he targeted by DTO hitmen because of it?
As unpleasant and disheartening as that scenario sounds, there's one that's even worse: he may have been targeted simply because he was a US military member. I don't know what the likelihood of this is, as it would represent a major - and dangerous - shift in tactics for Mexican DTOs. Rumors to that end have been batted about, but nothing has ever been confirmed, and low confidence was placed in their credibility.
The third and most likely scenario is that Booher was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two of his fellow victims were strip club employees, and Booher may have been seen as guilty by association by the hitmen simply because he was in the company of people in the drug business. DTO sicarios have yet to start killing people at random; but they have been known to kill "extra" people "just in case," and be more tolerant of collateral damage to ensure they get their target.
If I find out more about this case/investigation, I'll be sure to post an update.