Roberto Villa, drummer of regional Mexican group Conjunto Atardecer, was killed in an attack by armed commandos that left four other people dead.

He was 24 years old and an original member of Atardecer, a duranguense group that, since its creation in 2000, has had 11 albums on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.

According to published reports, Villa was traveling in a van with a group of students from Escuela Normal Rural "Carlos C. Carrillo," a local high school in the city of Santa Maria del Oro, Durango, on the evening of March 23. Around 11 p.m., at an intersection, the van was shot at by a group of armed men, leaving five dead, including Villa and four students. No arrests have been made.

At least one published report said the men were trying to kidnap Villa, but that report has not been confirmed. Villa's murder is the latest in a string of killings in Mexico that have claimed the lives of prominent regional Mexican musicians, including romantic banda singer Valentin Elizalde (in 2007) and Sergio Gomez, lead singer of K-Paz de la Sierra, last year.

Most recently, last October, four members of the group Herederos de Sinaloa were killed in an ambush.