Texas National Guard soldier shoots man on Mexican bank of Rio Grande

A Texas National Guard soldier on duty in El Paso
fired a shot toward a man, who was found wounded along the banks of the
Rio Grande in Juárez over the weekend.

The 22-year-old victim remains hospitalized, the Chihuahua State
Attorney General’s Office said, contradicting earlier reports from
Mexican health authorities identifying the victim as a 37-year-old from
Veracruz, Mexico, who had been released from the hospital. The attorney
general’s office would not release further details on the victim, saying
only it was investigating where the man was when he was shot.

The shooting occurred at about 8:50 p.m. Saturday on the Mexican
banks of the Rio Grande near Rafael Pérez Serna avenue, which is
adjacent to the Bridge of the Americas international crossing, according
to official reports. The shooting was reported to Juárez’s 911 center
at 8:51 p.m., according to the State Public Security Secretary of

Authorities from the Texas Military Department confirmed via email to
La Verdad that on Saturday night, a Texas National guardsman assigned
to Operation Lone Star in the El Paso sector fired a weapon in the

The Texas Military Department declined to respond to questions from
El Paso Matters about the shooting, including whether a National Guard
soldier fired into Mexico. The agency issued only a brief statement.

“On the night of 26 August, a National Guard service member assigned
to Operation Lone Star discharged a weapon in a border-related
incident. The incident is under investigation.  More information will
be made available as the investigation progresses,” the statement

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said they are aware of
the reports but directed media to state officials in Texas and Chihuahua
for details of the investigation.

A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson provided minimal information on the investigation.

“On the evening of Aug. 26, Texas Department of Public Safety
Troopers responded to a call of a shooting involving a National Guard
Soldier along the Texas/Mexico border in West Texas. The incident is now
under investigation by the Texas Rangers and no additional information
is available at this time,” spokesperson Ericka Miller said.

State Sen. César Blanco, D-El Paso, called the shooting an “escalation” in Operation Lone Star, which he has long criticized.

“I am deeply troubled by this escalation in force on our border by
the State of Texas. We are not at war with Mexico,” Blanco said.

U.S. Border Patrol officials told El Paso Matters that the agency was
not involved in the shooting and that the incident is being
investigated by the Texas Rangers.

Special Agent Jeanette Harper, spokesperson for the FBI in El Paso,
confirmed that the shooting investigation is being led by the Rangers,
with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations “involved for the
non-documented individuals.”

Harper said the FBI is serving as a liaison between state and Mexican authorities. 

The Border Network for Human Rights based in El Paso on Monday said
the injured man was not attempting to cross the border, but was
“practicing sports near the border while a group of migrants was
crossing the border.”

The organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to
investigate “the disproportionate and illegal use of lethal force.” In a
press release, the group also called for the removal of Texas National
Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers from border

“We are deeply appalled by the actions of the Texas National Guard,
which under Gov. (Greg) Abbott’s leadership has continued to usurp
Federal authority and unleash unnecessary chaos at our southern border,”
BNHR Executive Director Fernando Garcia said.

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso also called for a Justice Department investigation.

“Abbott has repeatedly lied about immigrants invading our country,
continues to tear families seeking safety apart at our borders and
dehumanizes them to boot,” Las Americas Executive Director Marisa Limón
Garza said.

Since December 2022, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has deployed guardsmen to El Paso as part of the controversial Operation Lone Star.

Earlier this year, a Texas National Guardsman shot and wounded a
migrant in Mission, a city in Hidalgo County just west of McAllen. The
guardsman, Spc. Angel Gallegos, won’t face civilian criminal charges in
the Jan. 13 shooting, the Texas Tribune and Military Times reported.

El Paso Matters assistant editor Cindy Ramirez contributed to this report.

Update, 12:30 p.m. Aug. 29: The Chihuahua State
Attorney General’s Office on Monday said it is not identifying the
person shot by a Texas National Guard over the weekend, indicating the
22-year-old man remains hospitalized. That contradicts information
provided by Chihuahua hospital officials who identified a 37-year-old
man as the victim.