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'She was always laughing': Friend remembers Canadian killed in Mexico robbery

The friend of a Canadian killed in Mexico says she spoke to Gabriele Schart on the phone just moments before the woman was shot in a gas station robbery.

Raquel Shulman says Schart was making the long journey by road back to Canada with a friend when they made a stop outside of Queretaro City, Mexico to fuel up. 

She says that's when the pair were robbed at gunpoint – Mexican police said Schart received a fatal shot in the face. 

Shulman says she's trying to process what happened as she mourns a friend who had a great sense of adventure and loved to travel. 

Mexican police say Schart, who was from London, Ont., died at the scene while the friend suffered injuries to his arm on Saturday.

Global Affairs Canada has said it is aware of the death of a Canadian in Mexico.

Schart, 57, was moving back to Canada to help care for her aging mother when she was killed, Shulman said. 

"I spoke to her while she was at the gas station she was killed at," Shulman said in a phone interview from the Greater Toronto Area. 

"She was telling me it was her last tank of gas until the (U.S.) border."

Schart was travelling from Zipolite, Mexico, with a friend and pets, and had expressed concerns over bandits targeting motorists on Mexican highways, one of her sons wrote in an online post. 

Mexican police said the pair were robbed at a gas station, with the thieves firing three shots. One hit Schart in the face, killing her, while the friend was shot in the arm, they said.

Shulman said she knew Schart for more than 15 years and met her at a bar in Canada where they discovered they were dating the same man. 

The relationship with the male suitor didn't last but the friendship endured even as Schart moved to Mexico about eight years ago to pursue a slower-paced life.

Shulman said Schart was fun to be around and a great travel companion. 

"She was always laughing and giggling. She had the same love of travel that I had," Shulman said. "She was fun and talkative and insightful ... we were always able to talk to each other about everything."

Global Affairs Canada has said consular officials are providing assistance and support to the family and are in touch with local authorities. 

The office of Mexico's attorney general in Queretaro said it could not comment beyond what had been released by police.

Mexican police said Thursday that they were investigating and "the crime will not go unpunished."

Schart's family has started a GoFundMe to cover transportation and funeral costs. Top Stories

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