CALEXICO — A man was wounded in the leg by Border Patrol during a shooting near the downtown Calexico Port of Entry on Monday morning when agents stopped a car involved in an illegal immigrant-smuggling attempt.
Traffic coming into the United States was delayed, and traffic leaving the country was redirected to the Calexico East Port of Entry, said Armando Garcia, supervisory Border Patrol agent for the El Centro Sector public affairs office.
Delays lasted for hours, and curious pedestrians and drivers alike stopped to ask what was going on as the usually bustling southbound lanes of Imperial Avenue remained empty.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. when Border Patrol agents were pursuing a blue Chevrolet Impala as it came down Imperial Avenue.
Agents laid out spike strips to puncture the tires of the car and gave oral commands for the driver to pull over, but he kept driving toward Mexico and multiple shots were fired by Border Patrol. It is unclear if one or more agents opened fire.
There were three people in the car, and the single wounded occupant of the vehicle was transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center for treatment. All are now in authorities’ custody.
FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth said the investigation is ongoing. After being notified of the incident, FBI agents responded to the scene and worked with Border Patrol to initiate agent-involved shooting protocol, which involves interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.
Multiple rounds were fired, but no more information was immediately available.
It was the second shooting near that Port of Entry within 24 hours, following a Sunday night shooting on the Mexico side that left one man dead.
Mexican media identified the victim in that incident as Pedro Ramirez Reyes, 50, and described him as a human-smuggling suspect.
He was sitting on the dividers separating the vehicle lines entering the downtown Port of Entry when a man walked up to him and shot him in the head before running away and getting on a waiting motorcycle, according to witness reports. No more information on that shooting was available at press time.
Monday’s incident was at least the third shooting to occur in lanes feeding the downtown port since the end of July when another person on the Mexicali side was shot while waiting to cross.
No arrests have been made in that shooting, according to Mexican authorities.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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