A Mexican beauty queen killed in a shootout between suspected drug traffickers and soldiers likely was being used as a human shield, a federal official says. Maria Susana Flores Gamez, crowned 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in February, came out of the car first with a gun in her hands during the confrontation, with the other gunmen hiding behind her, according to the official from the attorney general's office. Investigators are still trying to determine if the 20-year-old fired the gun she was holding.
A military report said she went down in a hail of gunfire. She was found dead near an assault rifle along with two others; two members of the gang have been detained. Hers is at least the fourth documented case of a beauty queen or contestant becoming involved with Mexican drug traffickers, the theme of the critically acclaimed 2011 movie Miss Bala, or Miss Bullet, Mexico's official Best Foreign Language Film submission to the Academy Awards. (Read more Mexico stories.)