He was shot five times at the wheel of his car by masked gunmen in a drive-by shooting. The murder took place in full view of his son and daughter (aged 8 and 10), as he left a midday doctor's appointment.
At the time of his death, he was one of three contributing editors to the Baja Californian newsmagazine Zeta. This weekly publication, which he had helped found in 1980, was known for its investigative ("crusading", according to some accounts) journalism. In 1997 its founder Jesús Blancornelas was shot at and severely injured in an attack that left his personal bodyguard dead.