Border crossing shut after fatal shooting
SAN DIEGO (AP) – A busy U.S-Mexico border crossing was shut down for hours Thursday after federal authorities shot and killed the driver of a car headed for Mexico, officials said.
The shooting occurred on southbound Interstate 5 around 3:30 p.m. about 50 feet north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the world’s busiest border crossing, which links Tijuana, Mexico with San Diego.
The driver, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. No other injuries were reported.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began following a black Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicle after a citizen reported seeing the vehicle pick up suspected illegal immigrants near the U.S.-side of the Otay Mesa border crossing, said Lt. Kevin Rooney of San Diego Police Department.
The car went westbound on Interstate 905, then on I-5 southbound toward Mexico, said Rooney.
As traffic backed up near the border, the vehicle stopped on the shoulder. When agents approached, the suspect “began to drive off and he veered hard to the left, trying to get back in traffic,” said Rooney.
Two agents then opened fire, said Rooney.
Anna Valderrama of Tijuana, Mexico, who was about four vehicles back when the shooting occurred, said she saw four people in the vehicle.
“I’ve been living in Tijuana for about 12 years and I’ve never seen something like this,” Valderrama, who had been kept waiting for more than two hours.
The other occupants, whose identities were not released, had been taken into custody and were being interrogated, said Rooney.
The black Durango sat in the middle of the roadway late Thursday with a shattered driver’s side window. The California Highway Patrol sealed off southbound access to the border and rush-hour traffic was being redirected to the nearby Otay Mesa crossing.
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