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A BRITISH man was shot dead at a Mexican supermarket alongside his two friends as his distraught parents say he was in "the wrong place at the wrong time".
Software engineer Ben Corser, 37, from Cornwall, was gunned down while picking up shopping in Colima, western Mexico last Tuesday.
Ben, who had been in the country since January, was sitting in a car when he and two pals, Claudio and Alfredo, were shot and killed.
His parents, former headteacher Andrew Corser and Lorraine Downes, and his brother Tom Corser, said he was in "the wrong place at the wrong time".
The devastated family said Ben had "become part of the community" in Mexico and was having a "very happy and sociable time".
They said: "Ben has been in Mexico since January 2022, where he had been having a very happy and sociable time, living in different parts of Mexico, becoming part of the community, and also moving around a bit.
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"Most recently, Ben was living with a Mexican-American family near Colima city. Two of the young men in the household (Claudio and Alfredo) were skateboarders and Ben joined them skating.
"On Tuesday evening, May 24 2022, Ben and Claudio come back on the bus from Guadalajara and Alfredo picked them up in the car.
"They went along the main boulevard in Colima and stopped at a supermarket to get some food for Mamma.
"While they were in the car, outside the supermarket, all three young men, including Ben sitting in the back seat, were shot dead.
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"We have had no explanation, no reasons given, no suggestion of robbery, kidnapping or anything else.
"No doubt the police will eventually conclude their investigation and tell us what they think happened – there had been a dramatic upsurge in Colima in the last few weeks, although this was not directed at all at tourists.
"It it most likely that this was a question of Ben (and Claudio and Alfredo) being tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Thank you for all your lovely expressions of regret and support, and all of the offers of help – St Just, Ben's large network of friends, have given the family vital comfort in this appalling time of grief. Thank you."
Ben's body will be returned to the UK for a funeral in St Just in Cornwall.
State Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Gustavo Adrián Joya Cervera said: "We are in contact with several instances of the government at the federal level for the purpose of clarifying this issue."
Ben's death is the latest in a spate of violence in Colima – but he is the first foreign national to be killed.
Local reporter Bertha Reynoso said: "Engineer Ben Marshall Corser is the first foreigner victim of this wave of violence that has been experienced in Colima since January 25."
According to reports, nearly 400 people have been killed in the crime wave.
Ben is the second person from Cornwall to be shot dead in Mexico this year.
Chris Cleave, 54, was driving through Playa del Carmen in Cancun, when he was murdered in March.
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He was driving his red Audi through the resort when he was ambushed by two men who opened fire on a motorbike.
The property mogul was killed instantly after a bullet hit him in the head, while his 14-year-old daughter – who was with him at the time – was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
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