Family believe Brit shot dead outside Mexico supermarket 'was in the wrong place at the wrong time'

Ben Corser was sat in the back of a car outside a supermarket when he was shot. Credit: SWNS

The heartbroken family of a British expat shot dead outside as he sat in a car outside a supermarket in Mexico have paid tribute to him.

Ben Corser, 37, had just picked up groceries at the shop in Colima, in the country's west, when he was killed in a triple-shooting on 24 May.

Ben, a poet and artist from Cornwall, was sitting in the back of a car outside the shop on Camino Real Boulevard with two friends when all three were shot dead.

Ben's parents, former head teacher Andrew Corser and Lorraine Downes, and his brother Tom Corser, said they believe he was in "the wrong place at the wrong time".

His mum and dad, who live in St Just, and brother Tom, who lives in Penzance, issued a statement, and confirmed they would be bringing their loved one home to farewell him at a funeral in the UK.

The family's statement said Ben had been living in Mexico since January, and had been "becoming part of the community".

The family's statement read: "Ben has been in Mexico since January 2022, where he had been having a very happy and sociable time, living in different parts of Mexico, becoming part of the community, and also moving around a bit.

"Most recently, Ben was living with a Mexican-American family near Colima city; two of the young men in the household (Claudio and Alfredo) were skateboarders and Ben joined them skating.

"On Tuesday evening, May 24, 2022, Ben and Claudio came back on the bus from Guadalajara and Alfredo picked them up in the car. They went along the main boulevard in Colima and stopped at a supermarket to get some food for Mamma.

"While they were in the car, outside the supermarket, all three young men, including Ben sitting in the back seat, were shot dead.

"We have had no explanation, no reasons given, no suggestion of robbery, kidnapping or anything else.

"No doubt the police will eventually conclude their investigation and tell us what they think happened - there had been a dramatic upsurge in Colima in the last few weeks, although this was not directed at all at tourists.

"It it most likely that this was a question of Ben (and Claudio and Alfredo) being tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Thank you for all your lovely expressions of regret and support, and all of the offers of help - St Just, Ben's large network of friends, have given the family vital comfort in this appalling time of grief. Thank you."

Ben had been living in Mexico since January.

The statement continued: "Ben’s family are completely devastated – his heart-rending death came as such a shock to all of us, and to each of his multitude of friends around the country and beyond. Ben had a breadth that is rare today.

"He held first class degrees in both fine art and mathematics, he was an artist, a poet, a computer user, maker, coder and programmer, a skateboarder, a sea swimmer, a wild camper, a festival goer, an actor, a yoga lover, a photographer, a music maker, a dancer.

"He was a lover of people from the youngest to the oldest, man, woman and child; of animals (especially dogs and cats); of nature, from the cultivated through to the wildest; but also of the urban environment, of graffiti and of skyscrapers; and of all art – from the earliest, the most representational, to the most abstract, the newest and the most conceptual.

"Ben was just so much fun to be with because he lived in the moment, with everybody (and every dog or cat) he met and who met him, and he was so generous, sharing his joy in life, and everything else he had, with all of us. He seemed to take risks – but that only revealed our own fear – he showed us how he was always within his capabilities. "

Ben, although born in London, lived in Cornwall from his first birthday.

He went to school in Sennen and Cape Cornwall in St Just, as well as St Julian’s in Portugal, before doing his A-levels at Truro College, and going on to study at Bristol UWE, and latterly Birkbeck College, in London.

The family added: "Ben was one of the founders of an eclectic group of artists called the Bristol Diving School; it is hoped that exhibitions of his work will be arranged in Bristol and Cornwall, and probably on-line as well.

"We hope to conduct Ben’s funeral and burial on Midsummer Day, June 24, in St Just, with a wake on the evening of the following day."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need to Know