Border Patrol shooting: Mexican officials confirm teen killed

Border Patrol shooting: Mexican officials confirm teen killed

CREATED Jun 30, 2011

Reporter: Steve Nuñez
Web Producer: Layla Tang

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – Mexican officials confirmed to 9 On Your Side a 17-year old teenager, believed to have been shot by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, died Wednesday morning.

The FBI would only say Border Patrol agents were investigating a group of drug smugglers at approximately 3:00 a.m. when rock throwers began pelting agents.  One agent then opened fire.  The FBI refused to confirm if the agent shot or killed anyone.

However, Alejandro Palacios, Director for Communications, emailed 9OYS a copy of the police report.  According to the report, three men driving a truck with an Arizona license plate dropped off a person at the local hospital just minutes after three in the morning.  One of the men told nurses the victim had suffered multiple wounds.  The report did not say what type of wounds or if the wounds were caused by gunshots, but stated the teenager was already dead by the time the men dropped off his body in front of the hospital.

Sonora Police identified the victim as 17-year old Ramses Barron Torres.  He was resident of Nogales, Sonora.  Palacios said while he didn't have first-hand information, he did tell 9OYS news reports in Sonora claim Torres was shot in his arm with the bullet traveling into his lower body.

On Wednesday, KGUN9 spoke to Carlos Santa Cruz, who identified a 17-year old named Ramses as the teen-teenager shot by the agent.  Santa Cruz also confirmed Torres was one of the rock throwers.

"He was throwing rocks at the Border Patrol and the Border Patrol retaliated back with a shot and hit him in the chest and he fell to the Mexican side," said Santa Cruz.

But Palacios could not confirm if Torres was atop the border fence when the agent may have fired shots at him.  The FBI would not comment at all.  Besides Border Patrol, Nogales Police was the first law enforcement agency to respond to the shooting scene.  Police Chief Jeffery Kirkham would not confirm details, but said it's extremely common for intruders and rock throwers to scale the fence illegally to go back and forth between the two countries.

"Why they're doing it, you know there's different things, certainly trafficking and illegal activities part of it but a lot of times its just to come over and do a day labor thing for somebody," said Kirkham.

The FBI tells 9 On Your Side it is working with Mexican police to investigate the shooting. The U.S. Border Patrol agent has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard policy any time an agent is involved in a shooting.