US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Jan. 21, 2015 – Use of Force Incident near Chapeno, Texas

Incident Date: 
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Jan. 21, 2015, Border Patrol Agents from the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Station responded to surveillance camera alerts involving suspected narcotics smuggling activity near Chapeno, Texas.

As agents responded and searched the area, they found several packages of what appeared to be marijuana abandoned in the thick brush. After discovering the narcotics, agents reported hearing “brush breaking,” indicating that the suspected smugglers were possibly still in the area.

With the assistance of an operator of an aerostat camera, agents were able to locate and apprehend four subjects. As the aerostat operator continued to scan the area, a fifth subject was discovered attempting to conceal himself in a nearby shed.

The fifth subject fled as agents approached and engaged the agents in an extended foot pursuit. When one of the agents caught up to the subject, a physical scuffle ensued. During the altercation, the agent heard a gunshot, smelled gunpowder and could see the subject with a handgun.

The agent then grabbed the subject’s gun and held on to it while the subject attempted to forcefully pull the gun from the agent’s grip. The agent then drew his CBP-issued handgun and fired nine rounds, striking the subject seven times. The subject immediately let go of his gun and fell backwards. Agents recovered the subject’s handgun at the scene.

The subject was provided immediate medical attention but died of his injuries at the hospital.

Result of the NUFRB

The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun was in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.

NUFRB Recommendations

The NUFRB made no formal recommendations on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.

Last modified: 
December 10, 2021