A 14-year-old girl was shot by gunmen in Mexico when they opened fire on her British estate agent father in an execution-style murder.
Chris Cleave, 54, was driving his red Audi through the Playa del Carmen resort near Cancun on Saturday when he ambushed by two men opening fire on a motorcycle.
The real estate mogul was killed instantly after a bullet struck him in the head, while his teenage daughter – who was with him at the time – was taken to hospital with injuries light.
Police sources said the girl was hit in the front passenger seat.
Mr. Cleave’s brother, Nick, 56, told Online email: “I spoke to his daughter – she is now out of the hospital.
“We will provide all the care she will need after watching her father get shot down.”
Nick, who runs a watersports company in Falmouth, Cornwall, said his brother “loves to travel” and decided to settle down in Mexico.
He said: “His real estate business was very successful and he was very much thought of and respected.
“We are very close, we communicate by phone or social media weekly. I spoke with him just a few days before this happened, everything is fine. He is very happy.
“He’s not married but had a daughter from a relationship while in Mexico.”
It is understood that there is no suggestion that Mr Cleave was involved in drugs, but local reports said a man believed to be him was threatened last year.
Cleave and two others are believed to have left a chilling warning in a so-called narcomanta – a message left by a local drug cartel on a cloth banner.
The message, written in Spanish, was left at a posh beach area of Playa del Carmen called Playacar on March 5, 2021.
It mentioned a total of three names and was immediately removed by the police.
The threatening message read: “We came for you and sold your ***. Also for you Cris [sic]with the red Audi.
“Shut your mouth before you find yourself in a body bag.
“Playacar will be your prison because outside we are waiting for you.”
Bistro Playacar is a restaurant.
There is no suggestion at this stage that any illegal activity is taking place on the premises.
But unconfirmed local reports at the time said the mysterious men behind the threat wanted to sell their drugs there.
Local prosecutors have since confirmed two arrests have been made in connection with Mr. Cleave’s death.
They were named Jose N 30 years old and Lenin N. 18 years old.
Police said one of the attackers was said to have tried to escape on foot after getting off his motorbike during a police chase and hiding in the bushes.
The other person riding a motorbike stopped right after that.
This was not a random shooting but a targeted attack. He was chosen to be murdered.
A spokeswoman for the Quintana Roo State Public Prosecution Service said: “We can confirm the arrest of two men who may have been involved in the incident that took place on Saturday morning in which a foreigner was involved. living in the area lost their lives.
“The weapon that was used has been recovered.”
Mr. Cleave, a native of Truro, Cornwall, has lived in Mexico for more than a decade after moving there in 2014.
Police confirmed that he and his daughter were traveling on the main interstate highway in Playa Del Carmen.
Police later arrested the two killers after fleeing the scene on a motorbike following the horrific murder.
A police source said Online email: “This is not a random shooting but a targeted attack. He was chosen to kill.”
Officers also believe he was being followed by the killers from his home, and was shot at 9:30 a.m. Saturday after stopping his car.
He celebrated his daughters’ 14th birthday just three days before the contract-style murder in his red Audi.
His brother Nick told The Sun: “We still can’t believe what happened to Chris.
“We’re all just trying to come to terms with his death and all we want to do now is gather our family so we can protect our elderly mother.”
He added: “The family will not be making any further statements at this time and we want to be able to grieve privately.”
Shocked friends of Cleave, who runs a wealth management firm, expressed their grief over his murder online.
Sue Steggles said: “So sad to lose my friend Chris Cle. You are one of the good people and so young.
“I will look back on our Saturday nights with fondness, you have been such a big part of our lives for so long.”
Patrick Delage added: “My deepest condolences to all of his family and friends.
“People from all over the world will celebrate his life. Thank you for being there for us in Playa. ”
Cancun has always been a tourist hotspot for Americans on ‘Spring Break’, but is becoming increasingly popular with British tourists and Instagram influencers.
However, violence has spilled over into the area, with rival gangs regularly targeting each other.
Gang members launched a violent shooting last November on a tourist beach, leaving two gangsters dead.
Two weeks before that incident, two tourists were caught in the fire of a gang war in Tulum.
German and American tourists were shot dead after being caught up in the violence.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/us-news/4903530/teen-daughter-of-cancun-victim-shot/ Girl, 14, was shot by gunmen as they murdered Brit estate agent’s father, 54, during ‘execution’ in Cancun