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November 25, 2005
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Shootout inside Mexico City police station leaves commander dead

MEXICO CITY - A shootout among detectives in a police station near Mexico City on Thursday left a commander dead and two people wounded.

The fighting broke out before dawn, when officers tried to arrest their colleague Eleazar Quintero, who is accused of heading a gang of kidnappers, according to a statement from the attorney general's office of Mexico state, whose sprawling suburbs wrap around Mexico City.

Quintero, who was accompanied by his brother, drew a pistol and shot police commander Juan Victor Rosas several times, according to the statement. Rosas later died from his injuries.

After a drawn-out exchange of fire, officers shot and wounded Quintero, investigators said. A man who washes police cars at the station was also shot and injured.

Investigators learned about Quintero's alleged role in the kidnapping gang in confessions by two members arrested Wednesday, the attorney general's office said.

This year, Mexico overtook Colombia to become the world leader in reported kidnappings, according to Mexico's Citizen Council for Public Safety, a private-sector think tank. Mexico state has one of the nation's highest kidnapping rates.

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