CNN obtained video Thursday that shows the build-up to the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican boy, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, by a US border agent along the Mexico-US border between El Paso and Ciuded Juarez that has caused tensions to flare between the two countries. The video, which originally aired on Univision, was taken by a bystander with a cell phone on the Mexican side of the border.
The U.S. has insisted the border patrol agent was defending himself after being pelted with big stones while trying to detain illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Both governments have hinted at misconduct by the other country's law enforcement.
The video shows 4 people running from the U.S. side underneath a railroad bridge linking the two nations. A U.S. border agent then emerges on his bicycle and manages to detain one of the individuals, who he then drags along the concrete. The agent then lifts his arm, holding what appears to be a firearm, and points it toward the Mexico side in the direction of one of the other suspects. A few moments later, 2 shots are heard being fired toward the Mexican side. A third shot is heard later in the video.
According to CNN, witnesses can he heard on the video, in Spanish, saying "they're throwing rocks" as well as "they hit him... they hit him."
As both the Guardian and CNN have noted, the video would seem to contradict the following statement from FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons:
"This agent, who had the second subject detained on the ground, gave verbal commands to the remaining subjects to stop and retreat. However, the subjects surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him. The agent then fired his service weapon several times, striking one subject who later died."
The body of the boy who was shot was found about 20 feet from the border on the Mexican side, according to Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office. Sandoval also said Mexican authorities believe the fatal shot was fired from close range, which would suggest that the U.S. agent may have crossed the border in order to shoot the boy.
Here is how the FBI described the incident, via the AP:
According to the FBI, Border Patrol agents were responding to a group of suspected illegal immigrants being smuggled into the U.S. near the Paso Del Norte bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
One suspected illegal immigrant was detained on the levee on the U.S. side, the FBI said in a statement. Another Border Patrol agent arrived on the concrete bank where the now-dry, 33-foot (10-meter) wide Rio Grande is, and detained a second person. Other suspects ran back into Mexico and began throwing rocks, the FBI said.
At least one rock came from behind the agent, who was kneeling beside a suspected illegal immigrant whom he had prone on the ground, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said.
The agent told the rock throwers to stop and back off, but they continued. The agent fired his weapon several times, hitting one who later died, said the FBI, which is leading the investigation because it involved an assault on a federal officer. The agent was not injured, Simmons said.
Here is the video via CNN. A slightly longer version, in Spanish, from Univision, is below.