A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper opened fire on a vehicle loaded with foreign nationals on October 25. Two people were killed by the sharpshooter. According to DPS spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger, an as yet unidentified DPS officer opened fire during the pursuit north of La Joya, a small town in Hidalgo County near the international border. However, she did not offer information as to whether the officer shot anyone inside the reportedly evading vehicle. Cesinger would not speculate any further about the incident that is now under investigation by the Texas Rangers.
According to various media reports, troopers found three people shot inside a red pickup truck along Farm-to-Market Road 2221 near Mile 7 Road near La Joya. Two of persons in the truck succumbed to their wounds. A third has been taken to an area hospital for treatment. Observers predict that the reaction to the incident is bound to grow, noting that in this case an officer shot and killed unarmed aliens. DPS spokeswoman Cesinger would say only that a DPS officer "discharged a weapon" during the chase.
The incident occurred after sundown on October 25. Law enforcement is currently seeking to apprehend several individuals who fled the scene. The pursuit began when a Texas game warden attempted to stop a vehicle suspected of carrying illegal immigrants. A DPS helicopter was called in to assist. An officer on board opened fire on the vehicle. Texas state troopers are the only law officers permitted to open fire during vehicular chases. Six persons are now under arrest.
The pickup involved was towed away by a wrecker and showed no obvious damage besides a blown-out rear drivers’s-side tire.
A Guatemalan diplomatic representative in McAllen said the government of the Central American republic is seeking to know more about the arrest of seven of its citizens in this incident. The nationality and identities of the two dead immigrants and another person under arrest have not been released.
Security along the southern border of the United States has been stepped up since the George W. Bush administration and into the Obama administration. The Border Patrol and other law enforcement have been equipped with boats for cruising the Rio Grande, along with sophisticated equipment such as drones, video, motion detectors, and night vision. During the Obama administration, the deportation of illegal immigrants has shown a significant increase.