Border Patrol agent involved shooting being investigated
A Border Patrol agent was hospitalized after an alleged human smuggling incident resulted in the death of another person this past Friday.
LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A Border Patrol agent was hospitalized after an alleged human smuggling incident resulted in the death of another person this past Friday.
Although officials aren’t saying much, we heard from someone who lives nearby.
“It was really loud," said a witness. “It sounded like fireworks.”
One agent hospitalized, one alleged human smuggler dead, and nearly two dozen shots one man says he heard.
“There was a series of shots fired, more or less I would say twenty. Suddenly we saw a white truck. An Expedition got in through over, there about two to three minutes later we heard gunshots.”
The man, who lives within walking distance to where the incident occurred, does not want to be identified.
He says the area near Green Street and Smith Street is dangerous, undocumented people coming and going regularly.
“Down there, there’s a road close by the river where you see people come and others picked up," the witness continued to say.
Customs and Border Protection officials released a statement on Saturday, October 24th recounting the events that led up to the fatality.
They say agents responded to possible human smuggling activity around 9:40 p.m. on Friday, October 23rd when they encountered a tractor trailer with alleged undocumented people inside.
According to the statement, another vehicle with more people arrived, the driver hitting one agent and a suspected undocumented person.
Agents said they “used lethal force after the driver would not respond to verbal commands.”
The National Border Patrol Council is legally representing the agents involved.
“It was a very unfortunate event when one of our agents was pinned against a vehicle, and unfortunately lethal force had to be used by our agents," said Hector Garza.
Laredo police say they are waiting for autopsy results. After that, all evidence will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.
It’s too soon to determine whether the death will be considered a murder.
“It’s an ongoing death investigation and homicides and murders are filed under a different category," said Investigator Joe Baeza. "Until those determinations are made after the investigation, then we’ll get there.”
Officials will not release any more information, such as ages or names.
“Something we’re seeing across this nation is that a lot of officers and law enforcement agents are being killed in the line of duty," said Garza. "We thank god this was not one of those incidents.”
The Laredo Police Department, FBI, and CBP’s and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating.
CBP says they are preparing an updated statement on the incident, and we will share that with you once we have it.
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