A juvenile human smuggler attempting to transport five migrants away from the border was shot by law enforcement after leading them on a pursuit through a rural west Texas county. A source familiar with the investigation says the smuggler attempted to strike authorities with his vehicle before he was shot.
The source notes the shooting occurred when authorities spotted a suspicious vehicle near Brackettville, Texas, early Monday. The driver of the white Ford sedan led a 10-mile pursuit on Farm to Market Road 674 in rural Kinney County.
According to the source, the driver, believed to be a juvenile U.S. citizen from San Antonio, pulled off the roadway before five suspected migrants fled onto a nearby ranch.
The source says the smuggler drove his vehicle toward Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and a Kinney County Sheriff’s deputy. Police fired several shots at the driver to avoid being run over, according to the source. The driver was struck multiple times and taken into custody.
The driver was transported to a medical facility in nearby Del Rio, and was later transferred via helicopter to a critical care facility in San Antonio. His condition is unknown as of press time. The driver was reportedly struck twice in the chest and once in an arm.
Three of the migrants were eventually arrested and are being detained by Kinney County. The migrants will most likely be transferred to the Border Patrol for processing.
Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe confirmed the incident but offered no comment or further details. The incident is under further investigation by the Texas Rangers.
The Kinney County Sheriff’s Office has struggled to contain the rise in human smugglers using local roadways. The small law enforcement agency relies on assistance from the State to curtail the illicit traffic and resulting damages.
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.