On 3 October 1980, a number of ETA terrorists opened fire with machine guns on an unofficial police vehicle in Durango, killing all three occupants: Deputy Commissioner Sergio Canal, National Police Officer Jesús Hernando Ortega, the driver of the vehicle, and Police Inspector José Antonio Merenciano. In order to ensure that none of the police survived, the assassins then approached the vehicle and shot the victims in the head. They then made their getaway in a vehicle they had stolen earlier at gunpoint.
José Antonio Merenciano was already dead when people approached the car and the other two agents were seriously injured. Police officer Jesús Hernando died during while being taken to hospital and Deputy Commissioner Sergio Canal died half an hour later.