Two heavily armed men fired at least a dozen shots into a store owned by Lionel Messi’s in-laws in Argentina and left a life threatening message for the international superstar before fleeing on motorcycles, local police said.
The attack took place early Thursday morning in Rosario, Messi’s hometown and the nation’s third-largest city that sits roughly 185 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
The city has been plagued by drug violence in recent years. Nobody was injured in the attack on the Unico supermarket owned by the family of Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo.
Before fleeing, the gunmen left the note naming Messi and Rosario’s mayor Pablo Javkin, police said, according to The Associated Press.
“Messi, we’re waiting for you,” the note reads. “Javkin is also a drug trafficker, so he won’t take care of you.”
Messi has not publicly addressed the attack.
Javkin addressed the attack and portrayed it as an effort “to create chaos in the city,” AFP reports.
“What story goes more quickly viral in the world than an attack on Messi?” Javkin said, per AFP.
He also lashed out at federal authorities while visiting the site of the attack.
“Where are the ones who need to take care of us?” Javkin said, per AP. “It’s clear that those who have the weapons and have the possibility of investigating the criminals aren’t doing it, and it’s very easy for any gang to carry out something like this.”
Per AP, the federal government’s Security Minister Aníbal Fernández characterised the attack as drug-related violence typical to Rosario “for the last 20 years.”