MMA fighter shot execution-style at US-Mexican border

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A mixed martial arts fighter was one of two Americans gunned down in an execution-style killing near the San Ysidro border crossing Monday morning.

Mexican authorities say Sergio Salcido Luna and Kevin Joel Romero were waiting in their company truck while waiting to cross into the U.S. before dawn.

A gunman walked up to the white Mazda truck with California license plates and opened fire at least five times, killing both men as they sat in traffic.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the killing. Salcido, 25, was a professional fighter who began his career in MMA in Bakersfield.

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Fellow MMA fighter Dominique Robinson, whom Salcido saw as a mentor, told his friend was only living in Mexico because the MMA industry had failed him so many times.

The “San Diego Union Tribune” cited a Mexican law-enforcement source who said Salcido and Romero apparently were targeted by an assailant who approached on foot between the lines of vehicles, fired his weapon and fled. They were shot in the head, chest and arms, according to the report. Officials aren’t sure of the motive.

Robinson said Salcido lived in Mexico as the result of broken promises – which have been a recurring theme during the Gladiator Challenge and Tachi Palace Fights veteran’s six-year career.

“He couldn’t get help,” an emotional Robinson told “The reason he was moving everywhere is because of promises, and they were empty promises. Everyone lives in their bubble, and they ignore what’s going on.

“These sponsors only help the people who made it. These promotions, they show favoritism and put in who they want to and [expletive] over people. Trainers don’t train people if they’re not big names. It’s all the stuff I went through. Sergio left Bakersfield for San Diego for the promise of a team and coaches and fighting more, the prospect of these things that people were telling him.

“I remember when he got to San Diego and none of it was going his way, he’d always talk to me about how depressed he was.”

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