EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Border Patrol agents, working the checkpoint on Interstate 10 outside of Las Cruces, shot and killed a man last week after he drove through the checkpoint, led them on a chase for nearly an hour and then hit an agent with a wooden club.
The incident began at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 2 when a Border Patrol agent saw a man driving an SUV drive through the checkpoint.
The details about the incident were not released to the media until Saturday, April 8.
Border Patrol agents followed the man along Interstate 10, the frontage road and onto several county roads.
At one point, the driver of the SUV approached a closed vehicle gate near a home on Burris Ranch outside of Las Cruces. The driver turned his vehicle around and stopped. According to the news release, Border Patrol agents exited their vehicles and approached the SUV. Agents ordered the driver to show his hands and leave his vehicle, but he did not comply, according to the news release.
Agents attempted to open the driver side door but were unsuccessful. An agent then tried to break the driver side window with a collapsible baton, but the window didn’t break.
At that point, the driver drove away again.
Agents requested additional assistance and they used an “immobilization device” on the SUV to flatten three of the suspect’s tires.
After having his tires flattened, the driver drove for about another 3 miles before coming to a stop and exiting the vehicle on foot along Dona Ana County Road C003.
According to CBP, the driver of the SUV led them on a chase totaling about 23 miles and lasting almost an hour.
At this point, three Border Patrol agents attempted to apprehend the suspect on foot. The suspect was described as carrying a wooden club in one hand and a shirt in the other.
According to CBP, agents repeatedly told the suspect to drop the club and surrender. The driver attempted the hit the agents with his club on multiple occasions. He also used the shirt he was carrying to prevent the agents’ taser from successfully deploying by blocking the prongs.
At one point, the suspect swung his club, hitting an agent’s baton. The man swung his baton another time but didn’t strike the agent, who then fell backward and landed on the ground.
The suspect then allegedly hit the agent twice with his club while he was on the ground and was preparing to do it again when he was shot by the other agents. The agents fired 16 rounds, according to the release.
The suspect died at the scene and has only been identified as an adult man who is a citizen of the U.S.
The incident is being investigated by the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The agents who fired their weapons have been put on administrative leave, which is standard operating procedure.