- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

EDINBURG, Texas, Jan. 6 (UPI) — Authorities Monday sought a gang of gunmen who burst into two homes at Edinburg and then shot and killed six men in a bloody rampage that police said had some similarities to a professional hit.

Nothing was taken in the home invasions Sunday and investigators have not established a motive or made any arrests, Police Chief Quirino Munoz said.

"Any motive is possible and there are some similarities with the professional hit method of operation," he said.

Munoz said there were some gunshots to the head and other similarities that he would not reveal. He refused to release any details of the wounds pending the outcome of autopsies. The victims have not been identified.

Munoz said it was too early to say if the Edinburg shootings might be related the slayings of four women last September at Donna, about 20 miles away. The two towns are within 25 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Shots were reported to police about 1 a.m. Sunday at the modest wood-frame homes on the north side of Edinburg near the Monte Cristo Golf Course. Police found the six victims tied up and shot to death. They ranged in age from their 20s to 30s.

"It was a very gruesome scene," Quirino said.

Three to five gunmen may have been involved in the shootings. They all wore ski masks to cover their faces and one of them wore a jacket that said "police," according to a witness.

The gunmen tied up the mother of two victims with an electrical cord before the shooting began and she witnessed the slaying of one of her sons, police said. She later untied herself and ran to a neighbor's house to call police.

A pickup truck was initially reported stolen from one of the victims but it was later accounted for and not involved in the crime, Quirino said.

"To the best of our knowledge at this point we have not been able to determine that anything was taken," the chief said.

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