MEXICO CITY — An auxiliary police officer was shot dead at the Mexico City home of Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera in what authorities described as an unsuccessful attempt at robbing the retired churchman.

The gunmen arrived at the cardinal’s home in southern Mexico City Oct. 21 at around 3 p.m., Raymundo Collins, Mexico City public security secretary, told local media.

At least two men arrived in a delivery vehicle and pretended they were delivering an envelope. With the delivery as the pretext for ringing the doorbell, “they were able to force open” the door and enter “three meters” into the property, Collins said. Gunshots were exchanged with an auxiliary police officer providing security at the property.

Auxiliary police provide security at public buildings and other specific locations. Jose Javier Hernandez Nava, a member of the Banking and Industrial Police, a unit of the local Public Security Secretariat, was killed in the shootout. The suspects fled in a pair of SUVs.

Rivera and several religious who help maintain his home were in the house at the time of the attempted robbery, but never were in danger, authorities say. As of midday Oct. 22, the suspects remained at large.

Rivera served as archbishop of Mexico City for 22 years. He submitted his resignation in June 2017 upon turning 75 and was succeeded by Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, who was installed in February 2018.

Aguiar expressed support for his predecessor and offered prayers for Hernandez and his family.