"I heard the explosions, one happened about a half hour before the other. There were fires, it filled the sky with smoke, there was so much smoke, I picked up my child and ran." A San Verdan local told the Chronicles as she huddled at bus stop, near the Church in Santa Ramona Valley, bags at her feet and her child on her lap.
"There was gun fire, it must have lasted two hours. This town is filled with the wrong kind of people." The woman who wishes to remain anonymous also told the Chronicles that she works legally in Santa Ramona but will choose not to return to San Verdan, even though it is her home.
Several others who had left with the local woman and were with her at the bus shelter and wished to remain anonymous also reported last nights apparent gun battle and raging fires, with accounts agreeing on two explosions rocking the small Mexican town bordering Santa Ramona nestled in the Californian valleys.
Witnesses were reticent to talk about the reasons for the gunfire and explosions and fires. They declined to comment about rumored cartel activity in the region. Only one person spoke out, sharing a picture they took of the destruction from last night.
Javier- not his real name- shared the plight of several of the people who have crossed the border in the hopes of getting away from the chaos.
"I went up to the mountains a few hours later when the gunfire had stopped. I took this picture to explain why I have to leave my home in case somebody stops me out here. Me and my family are gonna' be here for now. I don't think it's safe to return. I think you can expect others to turn up, maybe not legally but what can we do? It's not safe for us. This is cartel country."
This movement and flow of illegal immigrants will likely create issues in the city of Santa Ramona for authorities and with reports of the violence across the border, law enforcement will no doubt tighten up on investigations into guns trafficking and other types of contraband.