Matamoros priest confirmed dead following shootout

Father Marco Antonio Duran

Catholic Church leaders are confirming the death of a Matamoros priest who was caught in the crossfire of a shootout on the city's southside Saturday afternoon.

It all happened in the Colonia Obrera around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Matamoros residents reported gunfire and a blockade in the area.

City officials confirmed a "situation of danger" in the same area via their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Once the smoke cleared, it was revealed that Father Marco Duran with the San Roberto Belarmino Catholic Church was injured in the crossfire.

According to accounts, Father Marco was taken to the CMI Hospital where he passed away.

Father Marco was a well-known priest who hosted a religious cable television program in Matamoros.

Details of how Father Marco was injured were not available but the Diocese of Matamoros issued a statement.

The Diocese of Matamoros confirmed that Father Marco died after being shot in the chest.

"The Diocese laments the acts that occurred today in Matamoros and lifts Father Marco A. Duran up in prayer," a diocese spokesman said via Twitter.

Bishop Daniel Flores with the Diocese of Brownsville released the following statement:

"The Diocese of Brownsville, its clergy, religious and faithful, expresses its profound sorrow upon hearing the news of the violent death of Father Marco Antonio Duran Romero, of the Diocese of Matamoros. We join our prayers to those of the clergy and faithful of Matamoros at this moment of sadness and loss.

The Catholic Church is one body throughout the world, united in our communion in the blood of Christ; the suffering of one part of the body affects us all. Many innocent people have been killed as a result of the violence in Northern Mexico, and Father Duran Romero is among the most recent. A priest should be with his people in times of trial, and Father Marco Antonio's death witnesses to this solidarity.

We continue to pray for the Church of Matamoros, for all those who live in circumstances of great danger. May God protect them, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, and may the soul of Father Marco Antonio and all the faithful departed rest in peace."