A Texas Army National Guardsman fired upon a human smuggler’s vehicle with his M-4 rifle after the suspect reportedly accelerated toward a fellow soldier. The Chrysler 300 was observed picking up six migrants south of Laredo on Tuesday.
According to a report in Army Times, the soldiers involved in the incident were deployed in support of Operation Lone Star. The operation began in March 2021 and involves Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol troopers and Texas Army National Guard soldiers to stem the flow of migrants.
According to an report obtained by Army Times, the soldiers were assisting Border Patrol with a smuggling incident involving a Chrysler 300. The soldiers were in a “non-tactical” vehicle at the intersection of Rosemary and Nogal Lanes south of Laredo, according to the report.
The driver “put the vehicle in reverse and then into drive” before accelerating in the direction of one of the two soldiers. One fired his weapon six times at the vehicle to prevent it from striking the other soldier. The rounds struck the vehicle in the radiator and hood.
A law enforcement official told Army Times the suspect appeared to be a U.S. citizen and did not manage to travel “far down the road” before abandoning the vehicle to escape. The driver was arrested shortly after and will likely face charges of aggravated assault.
A Texas Ranger said the soldier “was justified in his decision to fire at the vehicle” during an initial investigation, according to the reports.
The incident remains under investigation by the Texas Rangers.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.