Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fired shots at a vehicle driving recklessly towards the inspection station of an international bridge between Texas and Mexico on Thursday.
CBP agents observed a man driving a Ford truck driving northbound near the inspection stations on the Lincoln-Juarez bridge in Laredo, KGNS’s Justin Reyes reported. The shooting occurred at about 6 p.m. on Thursday.
The driver struck another vehicle, a Ford Focus, and then crashed into several of the security barriers.
CBP officers perceived the truck to be an immediate threat and opened fire. No shots hit the driver, Reyes reported.
Witnesses told KGNS it appeared the driver was an elderly man that might have been having a heart attack. The witnesses said they heard three or four shots fired by the officers.
“It was an older man that looked like he was having a heart attack—he accelerated and crashed. Obviously we were scared and that’s when they opened fire”, one witness said to Reyes.
CBP spokesman Rick Pauza sent the following statement to Breitbart Texas in response to an inquiry:
At approximately 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge a 2015 Ford Lobo pickup truck collided with a Ford Focus just north of the primary inspection booths careening into and damaging several jersey barriers. The vehicle continued to accelerate and advance toward a CBP building where CBP officers were working. In response to this immediate threat to officer and public safety, a CBP officer discharged his service weapon toward the advancing vehicle. No injuries were reported
Pauza said the man is a 78-year-old Mexican national. He was not injured, nor did he seek any medical attention. The CBP made no mention of why the man was driving in such a manner.
The incident is being investigated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and CBP internal affairs investigators.
In November, this bridge to Mexico was the scene where eight Syrian refugees turned themselves in while crossing from Mexico into the United States, Breitbart Texas’ Brandon Darby and Ildefonso Ortiz reported. The Syrian group consisted of two “family units” who requested asylum after identifying themselves. The CBP eventually confirmed the information revealed by Breitbart Texas, but only after intense media pressure.
This article has been updated with additional information from the CBP.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.