Mexico calls for investigation of fatal shooting at the border

first_imgFive male passengers, all illegal Mexican immigrants ranging in age from 17 to 35, were taken into custody. Some of the passengers told investigators that Garcia and a 17-year-old boy in the vehicle were both immigrant smugglers, said Alberto Lozano, spokesman for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. Police said one person had been arrested on immigrant-smuggling charges. At the time, the vehicle was going toward the Mexico border, not away from it, police said. “They noticed they were being followed and decided they were going to go back to Mexico,” Cabrera said. Chris Bauder, president of National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, which represents Border Patrol agents in San Diego, including the one involved in shooting, said the agent followed his training. “Based on what I’ve heard, it sounds like they acted properly and did what they were trained to do. The suspect drove right at the inspector and posed a direct threat. His life was in danger,” Bauder said. Bauder said he did not know the status of the Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting, but noted that it is customary to be assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation. He said it was easy for critics to say agents should have acted differently, but “when you’re out there doing the job, you respond. Your job is to apprehend people who are here illegally.” The American Federation of Government Employees used the shooting to call for improved benefits for U.S. customs agents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began following the SUV after somebody reported seeing it pick up suspected illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of another border crossing nearby, said San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney. Three of the men in the Durango were from Mexico’s Baja California state and two were from Jalisco state. Cabrera said he did not know whether Garcia, who had lived in Texas, had a criminal record.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe driver, Oscar Abraham Garcia Barrios, 22, of Tijuana, Mexico, died at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head, the San Diego County Medical Examiner said. No weapons were found in the vehicle, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney said. Investigators have not said whether the driver had a criminal record. Mexican investigators were reviewing footage from security cameras at the border. “It’s worrying that someone was shot,” said Luis Cabrera, the Mexican consul in San Diego. “Let’s see what were the circumstances and determine if there was or was not excessive use of force.” The shooting took place on Interstate 5, about 75 feet north of the Mexican border, at the crossing that links San Diego with Tijuana. The crossing was shut down for nine hours while the shooting was investigated. SAN DIEGO – The Mexican government called for an investigation Friday into a shooting by two federal agents that left one person dead at the world’s busiest border crossing. A union representing the Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting defended the officer’s conduct. The shooting took place Thursday afternoon after U.S. agents surrounded a sport utility vehicle that was under surveillance on suspicion of immigrant smuggling, police said. The driver refused to get out, and when agents smashed the vehicle’s window with a baton, he accelerated in the direction of five U.S. agents blocking his path and “nearly pinned an agent standing next to the vehicle,” said San Diego police Lt. Jeff Sferra. A Border Patrol agent and a U.S. Customs agent opened fire. The Border Patrol agent’s shots proved fatal, police said. Both agents have been reassigned to administrative duties pending the police investigation. last_img read more