Presumed Illegal Immigrant Killed by Border Patrol Agent in Arizona, Sheriff’s Office Says

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
February 22, 2022Updated: February 22, 2022

Federal and local officials are probing the fatal shooting of a man in Arizona by a U.S. Border Patrol agent late Saturday, Feb. 19.

The shooting occurred a few miles north of the Mexico border near of the Arizona town of Douglas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) area spokesman John Mennell said on Monday.

Mennell said the CBP had launched an investigation with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office into the fatal shooting in the Skeleton Canyon area of the Peloncillo Mountains.

Mexican Consulate officials were notified of the man’s death, the spokesman said.

The Epoch Times contacted the Mexican Consulate in Douglas for comment.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said in an initial news release that a man was killed in “difficult terrain” on East Geronimo Trail, approximately 30 miles northeast of Douglas, Arizona, at about 10 p.m. on Saturday.

“Early indications are that one male subject, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, was fatally wounded by a Border Patrol agent who was on duty with additional personnel,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

A CBP emergency medical technician attended to the wounded male, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene, the sheriff’s office added.

The statement noted that “several other illegal immigrants” in the same location were detained and taken to a Border Patrol station “for interview purposes and further processing.”

The man’s body was retrieved by the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Sunday and transported to the medical examiner’s office in Pima County.

The DHS Office of Inspector General, the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene.

“The Mexican Consulate … will be working in close cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office during the investigation to positively identify the male subject and notify next of kin related to the death,” the sheriff’s office said, noting that additional information will be released as it becomes available.

The Epoch Times has contacted the CBP for additional information.

The Mexican Consulate issued a news release on Monday, criticizing the handling of the incident, reported.

“The government of Mexico rejects any act of unjustified violence against migrants,” the consulate release said, according to the news outlet.

The man has not been identified, pending notification of relatives, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.