A group of suspected cartel hit men killed a police commander in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua and his four-year-old daughter, prosecutors said.

Tuesday's attack occurred in the like-named state capital and also wounded the police chief's wife and two other children, all of whom were listed in critical condition, the spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, Carlos Gonzalez, told Efe.

Mexican media identified the slain Chihuahua police commander as Jean Aguirre Rodriguez.

"The commander was on his day off and riding with his family when he was attacked by the hit men. Regrettably, he and his 4-year-old daughter died and his wife and another two children are in serious condition," Gonzalez said.

The attack occurred on a busy avenue in Chihuahua city when a vehicle veered in front of the family car and gunmen opened fire, Gonzalez said.

State and municipal police rushed to the site of the shooting but the suspects had already fled the scene.

Chihuahua, where the violence-wracked border city of Ciudad Juarez is located, has been one of the states hardest hit by drug-trafficking gangs and the Mexican government's crackdown on their operations.

The state has accounted for a quarter of the more than 40,000 drug-related homicides nationwide since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the cartels.