March 1, 2013 – Use of Force Incident in El Paso, Texas
On March 1, 2013, during pre-dawn hours, an agent from the El Paso Border Patrol Station was patrolling near the international border when he observed an officer from the El Paso Police Department pursuing a vehicle traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of travel. The agent alerted another agent positioned further west of the pursuit headed in his direction, and both agents moved to assist.
The pursuit ended when the subject stopped on the side of the road in front of a vacant lot near the international border. After a brief confrontation with the pursuing police officer, the subject jumped the fence and fled into the vacant lot. Several Border Patrol Agents and police officers converged at the site and began searching for the subject.
After a brief search, the subject was found hiding behind a shed near the southwest corner of the empty lot. The officers and agents on scene could see that he was armed with a handgun. One of the police officers illuminated the subject with the light on his rifle, and the subject again threatened responding personnel, yelling profanities, and taunting the law enforcement officers. The subject then raised his firearm toward the officers and fired a round.
One agent and three El Paso police officers all discharged their weapons at the subject, who then stumbled out from the west side of the shed and began moving in the direction of one of the police officers who again discharged his firearm at the subject, firing until he fell to the ground. The subject died from his injuries.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the application of force was in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.
The NUFRB made no formal recommendations on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.