Two UTEP students are the latest victims of violence in Juarez after they were were shot and killed Tuesday.
According to Chihuahua State Police, Manuel A. Acosta, 25, and Eder A. Diaz, 23, were traveling in a 2005 Sentra with Texas license plates when gunmen opened fire at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Acosta died at the scene and Diaz died after midnight at Juarez's general hospital.
"I couldn't believe it," said UTEP student Sandra Cobos, who knew one of the students. "I just suggest you dont go out, don't go anywhere over there, just go home."
UTEP officials said Juarez was home to the two students. They said the two had just finished attending class together at the University, before they were gunned down. Investigators said 36 shell casings left behind on the street where the the two were shot to death.
"That's what makes it, in some sense, courageous for these kids, that everyday they come back and forth and they understand the risk that they run into and go back into Juarez," UTEP's executive vice president, Richard Adauto, said. "In some sense, we provide a sanctuary for these students, they come here, they study, they work."
Acosta worked in the dean's office of the business school. UTEP officials said he was a semester and a half away from graduating with his degree in computer information systems and had just become a U.S. citizen earlier this year. University officials also said Acosta was just weeks away from taking a new job and moving to el paso.
Eder Diaz graduated from Cathedral High School, before attending El Paso Community College, and then transferring to UTEP.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio issued the following statement:
"Our hearts are heavy today with the news of the deaths of UTEP students Manuel Acosta and Eder Diaz. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these two men as they deal with the tragic loss of their loved ones."