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Family members, friends and the LGBTQ communities in San Diego and Tijuana are mourning a U.S. citizen who was shot and killed last month inside a Tijuana seafood restaurant, apparently caught in crossfire stemming from the city’s drug violence.

Larry Macy, who lived for a time in Tijuana before relocating with his fiance to Puerto Vallarta, was killed Oct. 21 inside Mariscos El Paisa in Tijuana’s Camino Verde neighborhood, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Baja California officials linked the shooting to the neighborhood’s drug trade and said Macy appeared not to be a target but rather an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet. At least two other people were killed in the shooting and others wounded.

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News was the first U.S. media outlet to report Macy’s death last week after speaking with his older brother Jerry who relayed information from Macy’s fiance, a Mexican native identified only as Rigoberto who escaped the shooting uninjured.

“They were simply out to dinner at a small restaurant and, I don’t know if it was one or more people burst into the restaurant and just started opening fire on everybody inside,” Jerry Macy told SDGLN last week. “I know there (were) three fatalities … and Larry was one of them. From everything we know he was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Macy and his fiance had recently moved to Puerto Vallarta in the Mexican state of Jalisco but were in the border area on a business trip, the Union- Tribune reported. Macy visited Hillcrest when he was in the area the weekend of his death, SDGLN said.

Macy was apparently well known in the San Diego LGBTQ community for the gay-rights work he did while living in Tijuana. Friends told the newspaper Macy was a member of the International Imperial Court System, one of the oldest and largest LGBT organizations in the world.

On his Facebook page, Macy listed himself as a board member of the Imperial Court de Tijuana. The Union-Tribune reported Macy helped reactivate the chapter there, supporting AIDS organizations, homeless shelters and other groups in need of support.

Messages of love, support and condolences flooded social media and the comments section of the SDGLN story about his death.

“The world was a much better place with Larry’s compassion and service,” wrote Gary Virginia of the San Francisco area. “May his spirit be at peace and watch over us until we meet again.”

Macy’s death in Tijuana comes as the city’s homicide rate has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Authorities have reported at least 1,450 homicides this year, including 174 in October, the Union-Tribune reported — numbers that would put the homicide rate more than 500 to 600 percent above the murder rate a decade ago. The group Insight Crime, which tracks organized crime in the Americas, said the yearly murder rate in Tijuana hovered at around 250 during the 10-year period from 1997 to 2007.

Local authorities have attributed the rising homicides to violence between rival street-level drug dealers, while experts also point to volatility among drug cartels battling for the prime territory Tijuana offers adjacent to the U.S. border.

—City News Service

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