As Republicans decry violence at the United States’ shared border with Mexico, they may want to look a little closer.
An American citizen in Nogales, Ariz. was shot in the back of the head while trying to flee into Mexico Thursday night. It remains unclear why the officer involved elected to use lethal force, and whether the driver was shot on the United States side of the shared border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said its Office of Professional Responsibility and Homeland Security Investigations will investigate the shooting. “Further details will be provided as they become available,” said the office.
The Tuscon resident, who has yet to be identified by officials or police, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The driver was shot before crossing the border, but the car’s momentum carried it over to the Mexican side of the buffer zone separating the two countries.
Mexican authorities told the Nogales International newspaper that the driver was accompanied by another passenger, who was arrested unharmed.
Reports out of Arizona initially painted a far more dire situation. Thursday night, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino told local media that the driver, believed to be in his early 20s, had died int he shooting. A statement from Customs and Border Patrol issued Friday clarified, revealing the driver had been taken to a hospital on the Mexican side of Nogales.
Also contrary to initial reporting, the CBP officer involved was not injured. Early reports stated that the driver had attempted to run the officer over when asked to stop while heading toward Mexico.