Photo: Immigrant Shot at U.S.-Mexico Border by Border Patrol Agent
A man has lost his life after an encounter between Border Patrol agents and undocumented immigrants turned took a deadly turn Tuesday evening.
According to San Diego police homicide Lt. Ernie Herbert, an agent witnessed three men crossing at the border fence just before 7:30 p.m.
A second agent arrived at the scene shortly after the first called for assistance. The two agents then tried to arrest the three immigrants, but two of them ran, and escaped back through an opening in the fence, returning to the Mexico side of the border. The third man allegedly resisted arrest and began to fight the agents.
During the struggle, one of the men now on the Mexico side of the fence began to throw large rocks and swing a piece of wood with nails sticking out of it at the agents, Lt. Herbert said. He added that one of the agents was hit in the head by the wood.
As the man began throwing more rocks, one of the agents opened fire, hitting the rock-throwing once, The man fell back into Mexico and died at the scene, said Lt. Herbert.
The deceased man was later identified as Jose Alfredo Yañez Reyes, 40, of Tijuana.
The agent that fired the weapon had not been identified, but it was said he has been on the force for three years.
Both the ACLU and Mexican government are calling for an investigation into the shooting.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat released a statement saying, “he Mexican government energetically condemns the death. ... (We) reiterate that the use of firearms to repel attacks with rocks, which is what preliminary information indicates may have occurred in this case, represents a disproportionate use of force.”
executive director of the ACLU of San Diego, Kevin Keenan, said, “We’re concerned that the Border Patrol has a policy supporting the shooting of rock throwers in an situation. Apparently they do not train their agents to handle these situations better.”
“We don’t know all the facts on this incident, but Border Patrol needs to come clean on its policy of shooting rock throwers and reform their use of force.”
Between June of last year and March of 2011, there were three other fatal shootings involving Border Patrol agents.