Irish tourist shot dead at Mexico petrol station while defending his American girlfriend

MEXICO CITY – An Irish man was shot dead when he and his American partner stopped at a petrol station to ask directions to a beach in Mexican state of Michoacan.

The victim, 27, and his partner were approached by two armed men, who demanded they hand over their rented white Ford pick-up.

One of the men then tried to grab the woman’s handbag, prompting the Irishman to try and protect her.

He was then shot several times, dragged from the vehicle and dumped by the side of the road.

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The carjackers then fled in the pick-up, leaving the American woman distraught at the scene.

The incident happened last Tuesday near the town of Lazaro Cardenas in the Pacific coast state of Michoacan, but details of the Irishman’s death are only emerging now.

Local authorities initially misidentified the victim as Swiss, but later learned he was from here and contacted our embassy in Mexico.

His American girlfriend was from Arizona and the pair had met online three months before and began a relationship.

It is believed this was their first trip away together.

The General Prosecutor for Michoacan State said they believed the Irishman died “defending his girlfriend”.

In recent years, Michoacan has suffered some of the worst drug-related violence which has plagued Mexico.

Just last May, two members of the local police force died in an ambush in the same town where the Irishman was shot.