Paraguayan international Salvador Cabanas remains in critical condition following an incident in which the 29-year-old was shot in the head in Mexico City on Monday around 5.30am local time.
There has been much confusion and many conflicting reports since the incident. What we do know is that Cabanas received a gunshot wound to the head during an exchange with a man in the bathroom of a popular drinking establishment in Mexico City called ‘Bar Bar’.
Cabanas had been drinking in the popular nightspot with his brother-in-law and wife. The incident occurred as they were leaving the establishment and Cabanas’ wife found him bleeding on the bathroom following the attack.
Mexico City Attorney General, Miguel Angel Mancera, has alleged the culprit is a man called Jose J. Balderas Garza aka ‘JJ’ or ‘El Modelo’ (The Model), described as a ‘businessman’ who frequented the bar.
CCTV footage shows Garza walking into the bathroom with his bodyguard moments before Cabanas was shot. The same footage also showed staff at the bar allegedly assisting the assailants escape, with Mancera exclaiming, “They did nothing to stop them.”
“Joseph J. Balderas Garza is a person who appeared to be a businessman, he was a frequent visitor [to the bar],” he continued.
Mancera went on to suggest that the incident may have stemmed from an argument over a Cuban woman that had accompanied Garza to the bar. The woman in question has already spoken with the police.
“She tells us that she established a dialogue, a closeness, not with Salvador Cabanas, but his brother [in-law],” he said.
Cabanas was taken straight to hospital following the incident and was conscious when he went into emergency surgery, telling his agent Jose Maria Gonzalez to “tell my parents I am fine.”
Cabanas underwent a seven hour surgery at Los Angeles Pedregal at around 6pm, however doctors were unable to retrieve the bullet that was lodged in his skull.
"We operated on his cranium and stopped the bleeding and the clotting and the brain is in a stable condition,” said surgeon Dr. Francisco Martinez at a press conference.
Dr. Alfonso Diaz, head of medical services at Cabanas’ club America, told the press that the striker’s future was in god's hands.
“You have faith, nothing else in a delicate situation, you have to wait and as days go by expectations are higher," he said.
Apparent X-rays of Cabanas with the bullet lodged in his head have been published by many media outlets over the last 24-hours, however, the photo has been confirmed to be of a child who took an arrow between the eyes in 2008 in China, and not of the Paraguay international.
There has been a barrage of public outcry from all over the globe since the incident, with two prominent figures in Mexico offering their condemnation of the attack.
Mexico's president Felipe Calderon has publicly condemned the shooting, insisting of his government’s “willingness to contribute to investigating the case” and Jorge Vergara, owner of Chivas, Club America’s fierce rivals, offered his side’s support with a banner on the the team's website saying “Chava are with you, come back soon."
Cabanas’ parents landed in Mexico City today to be with their son during his recovery and spoke briefly to reporters.
“For us, it doesn’t matter whether he will play again or not. The most important thing is to survive. He is strong and I’m sure he can,” said his father.
There has been some good news today, with reports that Cabanas has responded to stimulus and is currently showing regular brain activity. His condition has not worsened in the 24-hours following the shooting.
“We have to wait a little longer, he is still sedated. His brain activity is still within the usual categories,” confirmed surgeon Dr. Martinez.
Cabanas remains in “critical but stable” condition tonight as doctors continue to closely monitor his brain activity and hope that further complications do not arise from the bullet that remains in his skull.