American Woman Falls Victim to Resort Gang Violence

( – Gang violence is nothing new in Mexico. Tens of thousands of people have been murdered because of it over the last two decades. Sadly, an American woman is now dead after being caught in the crossfire between two groups.

On February 9, 44-year-old Niko Honarbakhsh died after she was hit by gunfire that erupted at the Mia Beach Club, which is part of the luxury Selina Hotel, in the resort city of Tulum. Prosecutors in the state of Quintana Roo told the press that the gun battle appeared to be related to a dispute between drug dealers.

One of the drug dealers was identified as 22-year-old Shawn Billary, a man from Belize. He also died in the shootout. He was allegedly in possession of pills and cocaine at the time of his death.

Billary was reportedly running away from the other drug dealers when he ran into a crowded restaurant to escape them. The killers followed him and opened fire, killing Honarbakhsh.

The prosecutor stressed that Honarbakhsh was an innocent victim, and was not connected to the drug dealers. Authorities believe she was hit by a stray bullet.

The Los Angeles, California, native lived in Cancun. Reports indicate she’s the wife of Karl Perman, a former US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent. The couple, who got married in 2013, had a home in Beverly Hills as well. Since leaving the DEA, Perman has worked in private security. He was named one of Security Magazine’s Most Influential People in Security in 2011. Witnesses stated his wife was alone with their two dogs at the time of her death.

The witnesses also claimed the security at the resort did not check on the victims for several minutes and didn’t give anyone any instructions on what to do after the shooting.

In 2023, the State Department issued a warning for American tourists to “exercise increased caution” in Tulum and other Mexican resort cities.

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