Martín Lanatta and Cristián and Víctor Schillaci have been sighted shooting police officers on Highway 20. The manhunt continues in Buenos Aires province. Photo via YouTube (Screenshot)
Officials say that fugitives Víctor Schillaci and brothers Martín and Cristian Lanatta fired at police officers at 4 AM this morning as they were trying to drive through a police checkpoint on Highway 20 in Buenos Aires Province. Two police officers were injured and the police has allegedly zeroed in on the escapees.

In the video footage above, two of the three fugitives can be seen stepping out of a grey Ford Ranger after being stopped and firing at the police at close range. The men then drive away in a hurry. The attack happened at 4 AM near Ranchos, around 120 kilometers away from Buenos Aires City (dispelling rumors of them being in the province of San Juan or even across the border by this point).

Buenos Aires Province Security Minister Cristian Ritondo has described the three runaways as “murderers [who are] willing to die.” According to Ritondo, the two officers injured were a woman, who was transferred by helicopter to the Churruca Hospital, and a man who had to undergo surgery in a local hospital and “will later be moved to the City of Buenos Aires.”

He went on to say that the police “are close” to stopping the fugitives: there are fears of a stand off and they are suspected to be close to the airfield in Ranchos. According to TN, a house in Ranchos has been surrounded by the police.

The Lanatta brothers and Schillaci escaped from the maximum security prison of General Alvear, Buenos Aires province, between 02:00 and 03:00 AM on Sunday morning. They had been sentenced to life in prison for what is locally known as the “Triple Crime of General Rodríguez” — a triple murder linked to drug cartels, specifically trafficking ephedrine (which is used for manufacturing methamphetamine).

Since escaping, the fugitives have sought help from Marcelo Alejandro Melnyk, a friend of Schillaci known as “The Pharaoh”. Melnyk allegedly provided them with money and logistical support and he’s currently in custody. A prison guard has also been arrested after, according to Ritondo, “he heard yelling during the escape and yet he didn’t respond.”

Interpol has been involved in the manhunt for the three men and updated the circulated photos in order to improve the search.

Updated photo of Víctor Schillaci (right). Photo via Infobae
Updated photo of Víctor Schillaci (right). Photo via Infobae
Updated photos of Martín Lanatta. Photo via Infobae
Updated photos of Martín Lanatta. Photo via Infobae
Updated photos of Cristian Lanatta (the two on the right are the updates). Photo via Infobae
Updated photos of Cristian Lanatta (the two on the right are the updates). Photo via Infobae

For a full low-down on the escape that has shocked the country, read this thorough explainer by our very own Demian Bio.