CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 15-year-old Mexican boy after a group trying to illegally enter Texas threw rocks at officers near downtown El Paso, U.S. authorities said Tuesday.
The shooting, which happened Monday evening beneath a railroad bridge linking the two nations, drew sharp criticism from Mexico, where the government said Tuesday that "the use of firearms to repel attacks with stones represents disproportionate use of force, particularly coming from authorities who have received specialized training."
It was the second death of a Mexican at the hands of Border Patrol officers in less than two weeks, and the case threatened to swell into a full-blown international incident when U.S. and Mexican officials traded suggestions of misconduct.
Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General's office, said a spent 40-mm shell was found near the body — raising the question of whether the fatal shot was fired inside Mexico, although he did not explicitly make that suggestion. That would violate the rules for Border Patrol agents, who are supposed to stay on the U.S. side of the border.