Texas National Guardsman Shoots Man Across Border

Wounded man across the Rio Grande is Mexican, and incident is under investigation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2023 11:05 AM CDT
American's Bullet Flies Over Rio Grande, Wounds Mexican
File photo of the Rio Grande, with Texas at left and Mexico at right.   (Getty/Rex_Wholster)

An unusual shooting involving a soldier with the Texas National Guard is under investigation. The Guardsman fired across the Rio Grande and wounded a Mexican man Saturday evening, reports the Dallas Morning News. The man identified as Darwin Jose Garcia, 37, was hit in the leg and is recuperating, per the El Paso Times. Why the Guardsman opened fire is unclear. Garcia originally told police he was a migrant attempting to cross the river and enter the US, per the Texas Tribune, though he later told reporters he was merely practicing an unspecified sport by the river when other migrants were attempting to cross. Either way, the use of lethal force remains unexplained, with a spokesperson for the National Guard saying only that the matter is under investigation.

The Washington Post quotes an unnamed Customs and Border Protection official as saying it appears the unidentified Guardsman fired when three men on the Mexican side of the river began attacking migrants who entered the river to cross into the US. If so, the shooting would likely be justified, notes the Post, though it was unclear under this narrative whether Garcia was an innocent bystander struck by the bullet. The Guardsman was on duty as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star, an aggressive mission to keep migrants from attempting to cross the border into Texas. "I am deeply troubled by this escalation in force on our border," said Democratic state Sen. Cesar Blanco of El Paso, per the Times. "We are not at war with Mexico." (More US-Mexico border stories.)

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