Gunpowder residue found on the hands of Mexican beauty queen killed in shoot-out

Authorities had said previously that Maria Susana Flores Gamez might have been used as a human shield

A 20-year-old Mexican beauty queen, killed in a shoot-out with soldiers and suspected drug traffickers, may have fired a gun during the fatal confrontation in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa.

Authorities had said previously that Maria Susana Flores Gamez might have been used as a human shield and that an automatic rifle had been found near her body.

Federal prosecutor, Enrique Fedegrino, said yesterday that tests indicate there was gunpowder residue on her hands. Whether or not she shot at the soldiers is still being investigated.

According to the attorney general's office, Gamez, who was crowned 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in February, was first to exit a car with a gun in her hands - the other gunmen followed her.

The military report of the shootout said she went down in a hail of gunfire and was found dead near the assault rifle along with two other bodies.

The 5-foot-7-inch brunette had competed with seven other contestants for the more prestigious state beauty contest, Miss Sinaloa, but didn't win.

The case is at least the fourth incident involving a beauty queen or pageant contestant becoming associated with drug traffickers.

Top Sinaloa cartel drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman married a local beauty queen in 2011, and in 2008 a former Miss Sinaloa Laura Zuniga had her Hispanoamerican Queen pageant title  taken off her after being detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations.

She was later released without charges.

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