A migrant from Mexico was shot dead by a border patrol agent as he tried to escape arrest in a remote area of Arizona, authorities announced Wednesday.
US Customs and Border Patrol agents confronted a group of undocumented immigrants at about 9 p.m. Saturday in Skeleton Canyon, 32 miles northeast of Douglas, the agency said in a statement.
The agents on horseback had to dismount because of the rocky terrain and took three migrants into custody — but they spotted a fourth man running downhill into a canyon to avoid capture, according to CBP. One agent followed and shot the man multiple times, officials said.
CBP said the agent “discharged his firearm” while taking the man into custody but didn’t describe the circumstances of the confrontation further.
Two other migrants who were part of the same group were later found in the surrounding area and were also taken into custody, with all five detainees taken to the Douglas Border Patrol Station in Arizona, the statement said.
The Mexican Consulate was notified of the deadly clash and will be working with authorities to identify the man and notify his relatives, said the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, one of the agencies investigating the death.
Sheriff’s office personnel had to recover the man’s remains the day after the shooting, to “allow for the safety of detectives, additional law enforcement personnel, and air support from the Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger to access the difficult terrain to process the scene” and transport the man’s body to the medical examiner, the Cochise office said in a news release.
An autopsy by the Pima County Medical Examiner listed “multiple gunshot wounds” as the man’s cause of death, according to the Cochise Sheriff’s Office.
The incident will also be reviewed by the CBP’s National Use of Force Review Board.