A suburban Chicago man is back in the United States after surviving a mass shooting that left five dead Monday in a nightclub in Mexico.
Ninmar Malk, of Niles, was attending the last night of the BPM Music Festival and was planning to fly home only hours later when gunfire erupted in the Blue Parrot Night Club.
"About 2 a.m. you hear what sounds like a firework and you're not sure if it's part of the music," Malk said of the confusion that ensued.
Rodolfo Del Angel, director of police in the state of Quintana Roo, told the Milenio TV station that the shooting was the result of "a disagreement between people inside" the nightclub and said security guards had come under fire when they tried to contain the dispute.
"Within 10 seconds everyone hits the ground and the music cuts off," Malk said, adding that he hid behind a pole and avoided eye contact with the gunman.
"Everyone was on the ground, so you're laying on top of other people," he said.
Four men — including three security guards — died from gunshot wounds and a woman was trampled. She was identified as Alejandra Villanueva, an 18-year-old from Denver.
Cellphone video shows the chaos as festival goers fled from the club.
"It took me a good 10 to 15 minutes to get out of there," Malk said. "I saw people dead on the ground as I was running back."
At least 15 others were injured, authorities say.
Authorities have detained four people for questioning in relation to the shooting. Another shooting was reported around the same time, but it's unclear if the two are connected.