A migrant support group is making claims about Wednesday’s incident where a Laredo Sector Border Patrol agent shot and killed an illegal immigrant before the facts of the case are known. The group claims it condemns “the use of lethal force against any immigrant crossing the border.”
On Wednesday, a Laredo Sector Border Patrol agent appears to have defended his or her self after reportedly being assaulted by a group of illegal immigrants with “blunt objects,” Breitbart Texas reported.
The initial report states that the agent came upon a group of illegal aliens in the Rio Bravo area south of Laredo, Texas. The agent reportedly came under attack by “multiple subjects using blunt objects,” officials stated. The agent then managed to use a service-issued firearm to stop the attack. Officials said the agent fired at least one round that struck and killed “one of the assailants.”
The rest of the group reportedly fled the scene and three were subsequently arrested.
Officials have not yet disclosed any information about the agent involved in the shooting incident.
Border Patrol officials stated that agents for the FBI and Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting.
The Laredo NBC affiliate, KGNS reports that the deceased migrant is a young woman. Other local media personalities are reporting she is between 16 and 23 years old.
The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) issued a statement on Thursday afternoon that appears to condemn the agent’s use of lethal force before the facts of the case have been determined.
“Yesterday, Wednesday, May 23, in a confusing and unclear border enforcement incident in Rio Bravo, Texas, a border patrol agent shot and killed an immigrant woman who was crossing the US/Mexico Border,” Frenando Garcia, BNHR founder and director, said in the written statement. “We at the Border Network for Human Rights are deeply concerned about this horrific killing and we strongly condemn the use of lethal force against any immigrants crossing the border.”
The statement does not appear to allow room for the justifiable use of lethal force in a self-defense situation. The statement goes on to call for a “thorough, fair, and transparent investigation into this incident.” That investigation appears to already be underway by both federal and State of Texas law enforcement agencies.
While not commenting directly on this case, Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas Wednesday afternoon that the Rio Bravo area is an extremely busy drug and human smuggling corridor. Garza spoke to Breitbart Texas in his capacity as National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 president.
“Assaults on Border Patrol agents are common in this area,” Garza said. “The smugglers that operate in this area are known to instruct illegal aliens to resist and assault agents.”
Garza has repeatedly expressed concern about the assaults on the agents he represents, the shortage of manpower, and the lack of any physical barrier to prevent illegal border crossings.
Laredo Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens recently told Atlanta’s Fox5 that the sector he commands has “zero border wall.”
Recently, cartel-connected smugglers employed an even more dangerous tactic in their efforts to prevent agents from interfering in their illicit activities. The smugglers began dropping tire deflation devices known as “caltrops” in front of pursuing agents. At high speeds during a chase, a sudden tire blowout could cause a potentially deadly rollover crash, Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector said.
“Because of the weight and sharp edges of these devices, if one were to come through a windshield or strike an agent through an open window, it could cause serious injury or death,” an agent who did not wish to be identified told Breitbart Texas.
Border Patrol officials are planning a Friday press conference on the shooting incident.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.
(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)