Border Patrol agent fires weapon throughout rock-throwing incident close to Lukeville

A Border Patrol agent mentioned he fired his weapon after rocks have been thrown from Mexico throughout an incident Tuesday night time simply west of Lukeville, Ariz., officers mentioned.

Round 7 p.m., brokers with BP’s Tucson Sector have been “concerned in a use-of-force incident” close to the Lukeville border crossing, mentioned a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Safety—Border Patrol’s dad or mum company. 

One agent reported he was “rocked” by individuals in Mexico and he shot his
weapon, the spokesman mentioned. Nobody was injured within the incident. It is unclear what number of rounds have been fired, or how many individuals have been on the south facet of the border on the time.

About 112 miles southwest of Tucson, the distant space close to Lukeville has grow to be a significant crossing level for migrants. Whereas the Trump administration put in a 30-foot wall alongside the southern fringe of the Organ Pipe Cactus Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, hundreds of migrants have crossed utilizing both open flood gates or squeezing by way of gaps created within the 6-inch vast metal “bollards” by smugglers carrying battery-powered instruments.

Legislation enforcement officers in Mexico responded to the scene south of the border, whereas the FBI and CBP’s Workplace of Skilled Accountability started investigating in Arizona. The Nationwide Park Service was additionally suggested of the incident, the CBP spokesman mentioned.

Over the past 4 years, the variety of use-of-force incidents involving Border Patrol brokers within the Tucson Sector has almost doubled, even because the variety of assaults towards brokers dropped from a excessive final 12 months.

In the course of the relative quiet of the 2020 fiscal 12 months—which ran from October 2019 by way of September 2020—there have been 81 incidents involving Tucson Sector brokers. Throughout this final 12 months, there have been 238 incidents, involving 287 brokers.

Of those incidents, almost 78 % concerned automobiles, whereas one other 27 incidents concerned “less-lethal” weapons, which incorporates batons, tasers, and pepperball launchers. Solely 3 incidents concerned firearms, in keeping with CBP information. 

In February, a Tucson Sector BP agent shot and wounded a person on
Interstate 19 south of Amado whereas “investigating a human smuggling
occasion.” In Might, three BP brokers shot and killed 58-year-old Raymond Mattia simply outdoors his residence close to Meneger’s Dam on the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Simply two weeks in the past, the Justice Division mentioned they’d not cost the brokers, prompting fierce criticism from the nation’s chair Verlon Jones and Mattia’s household.

In 2020, Border Patrol brokers within the Tucson Sector have been assaulted 404 instances, and simply over half of these incidents concerned bodily assaults. In 2023, Tucson Sector brokers have been assaulted 446 instances, down from a spike in 2022 when 522 brokers have been attacked.

In 2023, brokers have been bodily assaulted 230 instances and had rocks or different projectiles thrown at them in one other 96 incidents, the company mentioned. Whereas general assaults have been down, brokers mentioned assaults involving firearms occurred 13 instances in 2023.