Armed militia members drawing fire from Border Patrol

Armed militia members drawing fire from Border Patrol

MCALLEN, Texas – A group of armed men along the Rio Grande River led to a shooting incident involving Border Patrol.

The shooting took place Friday afternoon near the Sabal Palms nature center when a U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned to the Fort Brown station was pursuing a group of suspected immigrants, said Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora. 

The individuals hid in the brush and as the agent pursued them he encountered a man who was carrying a firearm. The agent fired several shots at the individual but did not hit him and called for backup, Zamora said. 

The individual had been at the area with two other men also carrying firearms who were turned over to Cameron County Sheriff’s Office who has taken over the investigation.  

In recent months South Texas became ground zero for a shift in immigration routes that led to an unprecedented number of detentions of illegal immigrants. In response to the border crisis, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced the deployment of Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley but not the rest of the Texas border. Various groups have expressed their desire to travel to the area and assist border patrol in securing the border, it could not be officially confirmed if the men involved in the shooting incident were part of one of those groups. 

Soon after the incident happened the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agents in green, sent out a statement via social media stating that patrolling the border is no place for anyone other than the trained men and women of the agency. 

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz