A Border Patrol officer reportedly shot and killed an undocumented woman in Texas on Wednesday afternoon.
BuzzFeed News reports that a Border Patrol agent was “responding to a report of illegal activity” in the town of Rio Bravo when Customs and Border Protection alleges a group of migrants attacked the agent with “blunt objects.” He fired his weapon and shot a woman in the head during the encounter. The officer performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but she died from her injuries, according to the site.
Marta Martinez, a bystander who took a Facebook video of the aftermath of the shooting, disputed the CBP officer’s account:
“I heard a Border Patrol agent screaming ‘See what happens? See what you caused?’” Martinez told BuzzFeed News.
Martinez said she saw Border Patrol agents flip the woman over, and that she was bleeding heavily from the left side of her face.
In the video, a Border Patrol agent is seen walking out of an empty building with two cuffed migrants. “Why did you kill that woman? You killed her!,” Martinez is heard saying to the agents. “I saw you with the gun.”
Martinez suggests in the video that the migrants were running, but said that she did not see them flee. She does not believe they were attacking the agent when the woman was shot.
“The girl was in the grass and trees, to me she was hiding,” Martinez said. “They’re saying they threw rocks at the agents but the two migrants were scared and the one guy was scared, they didn’t have rocks in their hands.”
The FBI and Texas Rangers are reportedly investigating.
In April, Debbie Nathan reported at the Intercept that CBP had dramatically inflated numbers showing a 73 percent increase in assaults on agents from 2016 to 2017, a number that was repeated by Mike Pence at a March event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security.
In one instance, the agency claimed that seven agents, who were allegedly assaulted by six people using “three different types of projectiles”—rocks, tree branches, and bottles—justified the CBP’s count of 126 assaults from that incident. And as Nathan noted, most Border Patrol agents who are supposedly “assaulted” are not injured, and that CBP often counts an alleged assailant brandishing a weapon (such as a rock or bottle or some other projectile) as an assault on an officer. (Nathan reported the FBI will be publishing its final 2017 number of CBP “officers assaulted” at the end of May.)
The killing of the woman, who has not been identified, is just the latest piece of stomach-churning news involving CBP. On Wednesday, the ACLU alleged systemic physical and sexual abuse of children in Border Patrol custody, and last week, a Border Patrol officer admitted on video that he asked two Montana women for their IDs and detained them because he heard them speaking Spanish while they were buying milk at a convenience store.