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Dec 18, 2013 8:02 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Americans worry about Rocky Point's reputation after shooting

TUCSON - At least 5 people are dead after a shooting in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, more commonly known as Rocky Point, according to Sonora's Prosecutor General Carlos Navarro.

The events started after a group of men killed somebody in Sonoyta, Mexico, according to an article on AZCentral.com. That is just south of the Arizona Border near Lukeville. Rocky Point is about 60 miles away.

Gunfire disrupted an area known as Sandy Beach around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses reported gunfire and explosions throughout the morning. It is a popular tourist area with thousands of hotel and condo rooms.

Stephen Heisler is an American who has lived in Rocky Point since June 2012.

"I noticed the helicopter flying pretty close to the beach and then all of a sudden the chopper or gunship starts firing into the Bella Sirena area," Heisler said. "And for a guy with a pretty tranquil life, I've never been around anything like that before ever."

He said Rocky Point is a family-friendly town where it is easy to live without speaking English.

"They took out the bad guys, and they didn't play around doing so," Heisler said. "When you can launch a military gunship to back up the officers on the ground, that's a fantastic response."

Richard Savino is a real estate agent who has lived in Puerto Penasco more than 6 years. He realizes the violence might be bad for business.

"There hadn't been any negative press reports for quite a while now," he said. "Obviously, every one now is going to be quite concerned about the kinds of publicity this is going to raise. It will certainly have a negative effect on tourism, on business."

He does not worry about his safety in the future.

"That doesn't mean there aren't good, safe cities in Arizona that once in a while have something bad happen," Savino said. "Same thing here. This is not routine."

The United States Consulate issued a warning to tourists to take cover if they hear gunfire.

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