Border Patrol agent opens fire on smuggler throwing rocks

(Photo taken by: Jonathan Clark with the Nogales International Newspaper) The area in Nogales, Ariz. near the border fence where a Border Patrol agent reportedly fired shots after coming under attack from rock-throwers.

Border Patrol agent opens fire on smuggler throwing rocks

CREATED Jan 30, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan 30, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

NOGALES (KGUN9-TV) - This fence is a formidable obstacle but it can't stop everything. In this case it seems like it didn't stop some marijuana from going north or a bullet from going south.

A suspected smuggler is being treated in a hospital in Mexico following a shot fired by a US Border Patrol Agent on the US Side of the Border. 

Border Patrol will only say an agent fired a weapon after encountering illegal narcotics.

But KGUN9 on your side got a more detailed story from Mexican Federal Police. They say Mexican authorities detained a 38 year old man on their side of the border. They say on the US side an agent was guarding marijuana found there.

Mexican authorities say when someone started throwing rocks the US agent fired a shot that crossed into Mexico and wounded the suspect in the arm.

Authorities in Mexico held the man in the hospital while they considered charges.

Border Patrol says rock throwing is very dangerous.  Agents have fired before in the face of flying rocks.

About a year ago 17 year old Ramses Barron Torres was shot and killed very near the site of this latest incident. Friends say he was merely crossing to visit a girlfriend on the US side. US authorities say agents were trying to catch drug smugglers, when a group started pelting them with rocks and an agent fired at a rock thrower.

Last Spring in Douglas Cochise County authorities say 19 year old Carlos LaMadrid led police on a high speed chase. LaMadrid was shot four times while trying to climb the fence back to Mexico after agents came under attack by rock throwers. Investigators say they found 50 pounds of marijuana in the back of LaMadrids Truck .

Border Patrol is saying Customs and Border protection will co operate with local, Federal and International authorities.  Nogales Police are not commenting. Its not clear whether the FBI will be involved as it has in other similar cases.