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The son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was released shortly after his arrest following street battles between security forces and gunmen in Culiacan.
The scene on Thursday evening was tense, with armed men taking up positions and burning lorries in the streets.
By Friday, vehicles with bullet holes and smashed windows were being recovered as an investigation was mounted.
A dead body was pulled from a car, to the wails of bystanders, while a whitewashed building wall was filled with bullet holes.
At least eight people were killed and 16 wounded, the authorities said.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez was reportedly detained at a house in the city, before security forces were surrounded and forced to retreat, according to Security Minister Alfonso Durazno.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended the decision to cancel the arrest as having saved lives.
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