This statement was updated on March 2, 2022 to provide additional detail about the ongoing investigation.
On February 19, 2022, at approximately 9:00 p.m. MST, two Border Patrol agents assigned to the Douglas Border Patrol Station Horse Patrol Unit responded to reports of possible undocumented migrants in a remote mountainous area approximately 32 miles northeast of Douglas, Ariz. Upon their arrival to the area, the Border Patrol agents dismounted their horses due to the terrain. The Border Patrol agents subsequently apprehended three undocumented migrants. The Border Patrol agents spotted an additional suspected undocumented migrant who attempted to escape by running downhill into the canyon. One of the Border Patrol agents followed this individual and while taking him into custody, the agent fired his service weapon fatally wounding the migrant, identified as a citizen of Mexico. The facts and circumstances surrounding this use of force are the focus of ongoing investigation.
The Border Patrol agents transmitted a request for medical assistance via radio, assessed the migrant, and determined he was deceased. Additional Border Patrol agents, including members of Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma, and Rescue Team and a Border Patrol paramedic, responded to the scene. While searching the surrounding area, Border Patrol agents apprehended two additional undocumented migrants who were part of the same group. The migrants were transported to Douglas Border Patrol Station.
This incident is under investigation by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department and the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office and under review by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility. At the conclusion of a thorough review, this incident will be reviewed by CBP’s National Use of Force Review Board. Additional information about the NUFRB can be found at www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-use-force/case-summaries.
On February 24, 2022, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office issued a public statement regarding its investigation with additional details about this incident including information gleaned from interviews of witnesses and the agents involved.