By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man experienced a hotel horror in Mexico this week during a vacation.

Ethan Forney’s vacation was interrupted Thursday when he was caught in the middle of a drug war.

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Soon after Forney was sitting down for lunch at Cancun’s Hyatt Ziva Riviera hotel, Forney says more than a dozen people started running up the beach.

“People from the front entrance of the buffet are all yelling, ‘Run!'” Forney said.

During his escape, he says he saw an unknown man holding an assault rifle. Forney ended up locked in a storage room for more than an hour with hotel employees and other guests.

“More than anything it kind of felt like a school shooting almost, what you see and hear about on TV,” he said.

On video from inside the room, a hotel staff member can be heard saying, “Quiet as you can be in this room. There are many moving parts to the situation right now and there are a lot of different command centers being posted around. We are all safe at this time.”

According to Mexican officials, a group of drug gang gunmen wearing ski masks executed two rival drug dealers on the beach.

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They say one of the targeted dealers fled into a hotel before dying.

Forney returned home to Minneapolis Saturday sharing several tight bonds with people he didn’t know when he left.

“You’re seeing them after this and those are the people checking in on you,” Forney said. “You never had a conversation with [them] but we all just experienced this. ‘How are you doing? Are you OK?'”

Authorities say someone else was hurt in the attack who’s expected to live. They haven’t determined if it was a hotel employee or guest.

Other popular Mexican destinations have experienced drug violence this year.

Two tourists, an American and a German, were killed during a cartel shootout in Tulum last month.

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David Schuman