Pat Landers and Karla Baca were shot dead in Juarez, Mexico, while they were quarantining amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to KTSM in El Paso, Texas, police say Landers, 32, and Baca were shot inside their 2019 Jeep Sahara in the eastern part of Juarez. The shooting occurred on April 20 at 12:46 p.m. as the couple came out of a cellphone store. Police said at least 20 shots were fired.
Landers was a native of Baldwinsville, New York, and Baca was a native of Juarez. KTSM added in their reporting that the Jeep the couple was traveling in had New York license plates.
No Motive Has Been Established for the Killing
A stay-at-home order has been in place in Juarez since March 23. Despite that, Norte Digital reports that there have been more than 100 killings in the area since the order. El Diario in Juarez reports that three different weapon calibers were retrieved from the scene. At the time of writing, investigators are still working to establish a motive for the shooting, and no arrests have been made.
Landers Is Survived by a 6-Year-Old Son
Landers was a professional golfer and Baca was a physical education teacher. Landers is survived by a son, Cameron, age 6. Speaking to Syracuse.com, Landers’s friend, Dave LaBarge, said that the couple had been dating for less than six months. On March 10, Baca updated her Facebook page to say she was in a relationship with Landers. CNYCentral reports that Landers and Baca met in Texas.
Syracuse.com also reported that Landers had been in Mexico for three weeks and that friends said he frequently traveled to places with warmer climates such as Las Vegas. LaBarge said that he last spoke to Landers on April 18. LaBarge said of Landers, “He was a good dude. He had an extraordinary life.” Another friend, Adam Howe, told Spectrum News that Landers was due to serve as one of Howe’s groomsmen in his July wedding. Howe said of Landers, “I want people to know he was a great father and loved his son Cameron. He loved him more than anything in the world.” Howe added that he plans to hold a golf tournament in his friend’s honor and donate the proceeds to Cameron.
Landers Established His Own Property Company in 2016 & Baca Had Recently Been Cleared to Teach in Mexico Again
In addition to his passion for golf, Landers was a landlord and property investor, according to Syracuse.com. The website adds that in 2001, when Landers was 13, he made news after hitting a hole-in-one at Pope’s Grove golf course and another at Millstone Golf Course.
According to his Facebook page, Landers founded his own company, CNY Property Development LLC, in August 2016. Also on that page, Landers said he studied golf business management at The Golf Academy of the South in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Online records show Landers’ mother, Sharon Landers, died following a battle with pancreatic cancer in April 2016.
El Diario reported that Baca had just been cleared to work as a teacher again in Juarez after she spent six months outside of the country. Baca studied physical education at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua.
Social media posts from Baca indicate she had done some amateur modeling. Baca goes by the name “Jenny Baca” on her Instagram page, which has been made private. A Facebook post on Baca’s page on April 20, the same day she was shot dead, showed a picture of chicken wings with the caption, “Syracuse Wings, the best of the best.”