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“’This is going to get big really, really fast,’ a local law enforcement official said of the DPS incident. ‘You have a law enforcement official shooting at an unarmed alien. This is not an excuse for deadly force.'” You can say that again, Tex. According to, the red pickup (above) was suspected of carrying illegal immigrants and was being chased by a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter on Thursday. The chopper was called in after a game warden was unable to pull the truck over. But they don’t have their stories straight yet as to why two people are now dead . . .

In the Monitor account, the game warden suspected the truck of running illegals across the border.

The pursuit began after a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden tried to pull over a vehicle suspected of smuggling immigrants Thursday afternoon along FM 2221.

But another account at claims they thought the pick-em-up was hauling drugs.

At about 3 p.m. Thursday, a Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden tried to stop a pickup in western Hidalgo County, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said Friday.

Officers thought the vehicle was a “covered’ drug load,” Vinger said. Smugglers in Hidalgo County often stack pickups full of drug bundles, cover them with a tarp and try to race to stash houses before getting noticed. Little effort is made to conceal the drugs.

Either way, the sharpshooter in the copter decided to get involved.

Radio chatter from a state trooper helicopter shooting that killed two suspected illegal immigrants near La Joya Thursday indicates the sharpshooter was attempting to disable a fleeing vehicle.

A voice in the audio, which was published Friday by KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, is heard saying he’s “going to try to shoot one of the tires out,” and “we have a clear spot.”

Not quite as clear as he thought, evidently. The truck was stopped with a blown rear tire. And three people were shot, two fatally. And no one was armed. According to the Monitor article, DPS is the only agency authorized to shoot at a fleeing vehicle.

The agency’s director has said it’s been forced into the role because federal agencies aren’t doing enough to secure the border and because smugglers have become more aggressive, resorting to splashdowns, using other vehicles to block pursuits and throwing homemade spikes at officers.

But their methods have been questioned, including decisions to shoot at fleeing vehicles from patrol cars and helicopters, a tactic eschewed by other law enforcement agencies.

Look for more questions to come.

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    • Really? You want to summarily execute people who are simply trying to supply a product to someone who wants it? You’ve bought into the “war on drugs” propaganda. People using and/or selling drugs are not harming anyone. It is the laws that create the violence, just look at Portugal. It’s a war on people, not drugs. Google Portugal.

      • Bob, a HUGE majority of violent and property crimes are due to drugs. Drug addicts stealing, robbing to get more drugs, or drug dealers, gangs killing each other and some innocent people fighting over territory and drug sales. Obviousy I dont care if gang bangers and dealers shoot it out, but the killing of innocent people should be frowned upon even by people such as yourself.

        DPS has a few options here. They can shoot the vehicle full of criminals whom, by their decision to evade police, our knowingly risking their lives. This option undoubtedly immediately saves innocent lives from possibly being lost caused by a high speed collision because DPS stops the fleeing vehicle.

        DPS could just keep following the evading vehicle, giving the criminals the chance to determine how the chase ends, inevidibly wrecking out. Very likely colliding with a car with innocent people inside and may cause their deaths.

        Or DPS could simply end the chase, and let the criminals go. They may simply be criminals who enter this country illegally, or they mat be bringing loads of illegal drugs into the country, or loads of illegal guns. Both of which are linked to thousands of deaths every year.

        Which option is for you Bob, oh enlightened one?

        • The simple truth that most don’t understand is that drugs are related to violence only because those drugs are illegal. You may not like it, but it’s eerily similar to what happened during the prohibition.

          When it comes down to the basics of this issue, the government cannot legislate morality. It can and should only legislate to protect your and my rights namely those rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (or property). Whether you like it or not, things like drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and other moral (immoral) issues that don’t violate anyone else’s rights should not have any government involvement at all.


        • Your options are somewhat flawed and do not address the contexts given in this case.
          Given the location of this chase, a rural gravel road, and the use of a helicopter, one can easily conclude that following from a distance while relaying their location in preparation of a road-block/ground interception would have been far more prudent to accidentally executing a couple of illegal aliens for the decisions of their smugglers.

        • Shooting the vehicle was not appropriate no matter how you slice it. Law enforcement had no idea what was going on in that vehicle. For all they know, one or more of the passengers were kidnapping victims.

          Shooting up the vehicle was wrong unless the vehicle was barreling toward a traffic jam and loss of life was imminent without intervention.

        • Legalize and decriminalize drugs. End of story, and problem. Stupid cops and their laws are what fuel the gangs and much of the crime.

      • I absolutely agree with you, Max, that more govt is NOT the answer. And is indeed, the problem.

        The issue is that police need to protect the innocent from the criminals.

        I do understand, that the drug war may not be as deadly if it were legal. And I actually agree that a person should be able to do whatever they want (i.e. Drugs)in their own home, IF they are not infringing on other’s rights.
        The problem is, Max, that people undoubtedly commit more crime, stealing stuff, robbing, to support their drug addiction. That crime would not go away if drugs were legal. As well as a lot more cases of driving while intoxicated. Wouldn’t you agree Max?

        • Sort of, but I see examples from other countries where drugs have been legalized and they haven’t experienced any massive spikes in use or crime created by drugs. The people who never used drugs still don’t, and those who did for recreational purposes can do so in a non-violent way.

          On top of this, I think we really need harsher more intimidating methods of punishment for when people commit real crimes (i.e. activities that infringe on others’ rights) and treat the real causes of crime.

          Think about the same scenario but insert “guns” every time it writes “drugs.” Presumably, you and I both believe that guns should be deregulated, and guns serve a purpose, as do drugs (I guess?). We have no use for drugs (at least those that are currently mostly illegal), and there are others who believe they have no use for guns. Both are moral decisions based on what you believe. When it comes right down to it they’re both inanimate objects; neither can commit a crime by itself, however, you can use a gun for good and evil, just as you can use drugs for good and evil.

          You wouldn’t want a ban on guns? Why would you need a ban on drugs? What we really need is a hard line ban on corruption and evil.

          Note: On the main issue of this article (illegal immigration) I think that we should definitely build a freakin wall and send all those who don’t belong back. Start treating illegals like other countries do.

        • While crime would not completely disappear, it would be greatly diminished with legalization and decriminalization.
          Addiction is a disease. We have turned our police into a military force over the last quarter century.

        • Much appreciated. I think that most of the time we don’t understand each other enough to find that we really do agree. Thoughtful conversation should always build others up or at least make us think more deeply about our own positions so I’m thankful for debates like ours.

      • @Bob
        Yes, really.

        I have not bought into the “war on drugs” one bit. What I have bought into is the massive amount of violence being perpetrated by illegals(or not) bringing drugs into this country. It needs to be stopped. The best way to stop it is to meet violence with MORE violence.

        I’m not debating whether the drugs laws are right or wrong. The fact is, drugs are outlawed and those breaking the law need to be dealt with harshly.

        • I’m sorry but violence just begets MORE violence. You kill a drug lord and 10 others will pop up to fill the void. The amount of money to be had is just WAY to tempting!
          Decriminalize and they won’t have anything to fight over.
          Portugal saw drug abuse CUT IN HALF in the 10 yrs since decriminalization.

    • so because they didn’t stop, that automatically meant “they had drugs and deserved what they got”? interesting logic.

      • No because they didn’t stop, that automatically makes them criminals. See above options and choose from the 3 options WLCE

        • so the vehicle was suspected of smuggling humans and it was fired upon?

          maybe im the only one that sees something wrong with shooting at a moving vehicle with suspected people inside of it.

          What could they have done? Billy hit the nail on the head:

          “one can easily conclude that following from a distance while relaying their location in preparation of a road-block/ground interception would have been far more prudent to accidentally executing a couple of illegal aliens for the decisions of their smugglers.”

          Does that seem so difficult?

      • The very act of not stopping for Law Enforcement anywhere in the world makes you a criminal.
        They absolutely got what they deserve. If this was the response that criminals could expect every time, I bet crime rates would plummet. Oh yah, we live in the United States and we need to bow down to them(crims).

        • By your logic, a person looking to enter the united states illegally should be shot because of the actions of his/her smuggler. I dont agree. Would you still hold that same attitude if it would have resulted in the deaths of women and children?

          As far as responses go? we have the war on drugs that results in the use of tactical teams and military-grade weaponry by law enforcement. This overwhelming show of force has not reduced drug use and the war on drugs in general is attributed as a gargantuan failure. Save strong arm tactics for invading armies.

  1. So now just the act of running away is grounds for lethal force to be used against you…..?
    I read the attached article and it clearly states the it is within their “policy” to use lethal force at the department of public safety.

    Quite the oxymoron calling it “the dept. of public safety” and having sharpshooters mounted in helo’s with shoot to kill authority if you “flee & evade”!

    I knew it would not be long before this would happen after it became publicly acceptable to taze a person to death in the name of “public safety”.

    Just wait, once this new norm sets in and the body count reaches into the thousands, people will just start to roll their windows down and wait for the pigs to get nice & close before they blow them away first…….so as to at least take a few pigs with you before you are murdered, legally of coarse!

    • No, evading in a VEHICLE is grounds for lethal force. Because you are indeed risking the lives of everyone on the road. If you disagree, you obviously lack any logic and thus, we cant have a conversation. They are the department of Public Safety, presumably keeping the INNOCENT public, safe from the CRIMINALS.
      And tasing doesn’t kill people, excited delirium from chronic drug use does. And every so often, those people suffering from excited delirium due to their decisionto use drugs, get tased. Then they have a heart attack which happens when you decide to ingest a bunch of dope. Its a darn shame.

      Choose from the above 3 options in my response to Bob.

      • @apollo13

        “excited delirium”, huh? Perhaps you’ve been ingesting some of those same illicit drugs to believe that nonsense. There’s a reason you want find the term inside any medical textbook, and only in the annals of law — because it has no medical meaning. In other words, it’s the label of last resort when the pathologist can’t find any other reason for death, but can’t/won’t bare the guaranteed ensuing lawsuit from Taser, Inc. if they list that as a factor in the COD.

        Tasers can and have caused death, particularly if the individual had underlying or undiagnosed heart conditions, such as arrhythmias. Can drug use complicate things? Sure. But tasers can be lethal, and “excited delirium” is a term devoid of meaning.

        • Excited delirium, for lack of a better term, is when someone is so ridiculously intoxicated from cocaine, pcp, etc. that their pulse is around 200bpm and their heart is about to blow up. Simple explaination from what I have witnessed.

          How many folks have you seen in that state?

          What case have you seen where a taser killed someone when that person had no illegal substances in their system?

          Btw how did we get onto the issue of tasers from this article?

      • They were on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere – other options were available, and no public was in danger from what I have read on this incident.
        Secondly, if they were on a busy highway, shooting at the vehicle would have been even more dangerous. There is a reason most law enforcement agencies no longer shoot at vehicles unless the agents themselves are facing an imminent threat of being injured or killed.
        Any application of “logic”, given the facts we do know about this incident, demonstrates an excessive and unwise use of lethal force in this case.

  2. It’s never wise to run from the police. Had you encountered and injured innocent folks in your run that would just add to the charges and the tragedy. As it is, men who were breaking the law in a fairly low level manner caused the situation to escalate way out of proportion to the severity of the crime.

    Remember, in Texas even the speed boats have machine guns. Even the unmanned speed boats.

      • Here’s an off topic subject, Robert. I understand a boat manned by lawmen needing weapons to defend the lawmen.

        But an unmanned drone? The operator is safely miles away from any potential danger. We’re not in Astan or Pakistan. If an unmanned drone is fired at by a bad guy does the drone fear for it’s life and have a right to use a belt fed full auto to defend itself?

    • Running from the police changes an infraction or misdemeanor to a felony in many cases. I wasn’t there, so I can only make inferences on the article. The shooting does seem excessive, but border violence is getting out of control, and there are many nations who would shoot and kill you doing exactly the same thing.

      They might also have been unarmed and drug free because they chucked the items from the vehicle while fleeing.

      Either way, running from the police typically doesn’t end well.

  3. Not so sure I agree that deadly force shouldn’t be used in scenarios like these. My first thought is any nation that won’t defend it’s borders with force isn’t long for this earth. My second is I’ve spoken to more than one rancher on the border who put up with this shit daily and the hell these so-called peaceful illegal aliens put them through is almost beyond belief.

    Let’s put it this way, if someone “just broke into” your house, would you have the right to shoot them? What precisely is the difference here?

    • The difference is that there are better ways to stop a fleeing pickup than shooting at it from a helicopter. Plus, the alternatives are a heck of a lot cheaper too. And, the only crime evidenced before the shooting started was the driver fleeing from the police.

      • “The difference is that there are better ways to stop a fleeing pickup than shooting at it from a helicopter.”

        Can you elaborate these practical and efficacious methods? Using the resources that were available at that location? Please support this assertion.

        • Yes Chris, please choose from my 3 options in my above response to Bob and let me know which one works for you.

        • hmmm, lets see. how about using the helicopter to pursue and coordinate with other vehicles to set up a road block?

          Apollo, your three options are the not the only options available. drop it.

    • It’s the difference between my living room and a public highway, and armed robbery vs. simple thievery.

      One combination gets you deservedly shot, while the others call for more restraint.

      • I’m not advocating for helicopter shooting (though I think we can all agree it is marvelously reminiscent of a Die Hard movie)

        I hear what your saying ING, but is this simple thievery? I would argue it’s more like a flash mob taking over a store with an implied threat of violence just due to sheer numbers.

        And again, the violence and chaos these “good folks” cause boggles the mind. Let’s not pretend this is some sort of benign thing because it most decidedly isn’t.

      • Yeah, on highway, any number of people may be killed by the fleeing felons in a 6500lbs weapon traveling at deadly speeds. its not simple thievery. Its Agg Assault. Other than you being completely wrong, good point Ing

        • Making good points…while being completely wrong. Just one of the many services I provide. 🙂

          Apollo13, your point sucks and I hate it…but you’re right. If they’re speeding out of control, then they become a menace and force might be justified to protect the safety of others. But we don’t know what factors might have led to the decision to shoot, so this is all just what-if at this point.

  4. If you stop, you won’t get shot, run at your own risk. Someone’s got to try to stop the unending flow of drugs and illegals into the country, a tree hugger can’t do it.

  5. It’s real simple. the laws on the books are going, for the most part, to be enforced. Every time you break one of those laws you must be willing to pay the price, no matter how impassioned you are about your cause you will be handled as just another crook.

    And for the record, I support legalizing drugs.

    My post was in reply to Bob. Apparently our reply system is still a little wonky.

  6. Considering the number of firearms given to the cartels and
    the amount of territory along the border they control; I can
    see why a policy of shooting first could be seen as the
    safest practice. Especially when drugs are suspected.

  7. Two thoughts.

    One, we don’t know anything about what actually happened. There’s no official investigation at this point, and so far even the cops on the scene can’t get the facts straight.

    Two, the fact that the people in the truck were illegal aliens is irrelevant. The media is trying their best to demonize officers with what little information exists right now, and during an election year the death of a latino at the hands of a cop will be controversal. Beyond these points, we should wait until the facts emerge before passing judgement. I sense we’ll be the only ones doing that as the MSM conjures up the “racist Texans gunning down poor innnocent migrants” shibboleth.

  8. I will play Devil’s advocate for a bit. I don’t think shooting at a vehicle that hasn’t shot back is excepted, but………
    We have illegal aliens coming across the boarder, failing to stop for police. Obviously we don’t know what is in the pickup or what their intentions are or were.
    We have increased violence and bold actions going on from cartels and others crossing the boarder so tensions are high.
    I think at this point they are or were trying to defuse a situation with out getting to close as it were. Problem in this time they were wrong, no drugs, just a coyote running illegals.
    Unfortunately we are in a real predicament here. It sounds like they were either off road or not on main roads, so deployment of spike strips might not have been an option here. Pit maneuvers, or some other form of a blockade might also not have been an option.
    If we are trying to secure the boarders, how do we do so without being, well, draconian in it’s implementation? Sure a really big wall and maybe a mine field 2500 miles long might work, but that is a stretch.
    I hate to sound like a war monger, but if it is a choice between going across the boarder and getting shot on site, or not going, which would you choose? That is the extreme answer of course.
    A more PC answer would be failure to yield by a fleeing suspect who has crossed the boarder may be met with the use of stronger methods to force compliance with law enforcement. Continued attempts to evade law enforcement will justify the use of extreme force, and prejudice to stop the foreign invaders.
    If you are trying to secure your boarders, then it is black and white regardless of cargo. If you are chased by Police, then stop and comply. If not you will have to deal with that..
    In Israel people caught crossing the boarders were met with the same. Failure of compliance met with lethal force. We were not going to wait around and see, do they have a bomb, or a gun, or a knife.

  9. Shooting at a suspect just because he is fleeing violates the 4th Amendment according to the Supreme Court. Google Tennesee v. Garner.

    • Some folks here seem downright fundamentalist when it comes to “borders.” Ironic the possibility it could be simple folks trying to escape the violence and lawlessness in Mexico get shot in the back in the land of “law and order.”

      I hope the fuck none of you trigger happy types are cops or politicians. You’re really clueless when it comes to the constitution or the law. If you don’t understand our laws how do you expect to obey them or preserve/defend them?

  10. The Coast Guard does it all the time with boats… They never killed anyone by accident or otherwise stopping a fleeing boat.

  11. The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that police are not allowed to shoot someone simply for fleeing. There is no death sentence for smuggling and the police are not allowed to impose one. Someone should go to prison for this.

  12. This was wrong in so many ways. Without further information (remember, we only have what is in the media or released to the media), the trooper was wrong.
    And yes, I get to offer that as an opinion – I wore a badge for 15 years. Spent almost all of that time as a use of force/firearms/empty hand instructor; for the past 16 years I have been practicing law. I still bleed blue, but when bad decisions are made, I call them as I see them.
    No – evading with a motor vehicle, without any other crime, is not justification for deadly force.


    What about you, apollo13 ?

  13. Ing, I must admit, you just blew my mind with your open mindedness. That’s all I have to say about that.

  14. It scares the hell out of me that so many people here seem to think that evading the police — with no other information available other than that — is justification for immediate execution. I shudder to think of what your notion of America is, and I truly pity you.

    I am also heartened to see the many responses of former law enforcement, lawyers, and everyone else who thinks that such a scenario by itself is not justification for deadly force. It is this respect for the sanctity of life that often helps to separate us on the world stage.

    • Maybe you don’t understand the region this happened in. Sure, if this incident occurred in Iowa, there would be cause for concern. But it didn’t happen in the heartland, it happened it one of the most violent and lawless places in the US, borderland Texas.

      The only thing that “separates us on the world stage” is the fact that we bend over backwards for our enemies while they stab us in the back.
      Keep living in your dreamworld.

      • Lemme see if i understand you. If it’s in Kansas, then we need to show more restraint and “there would be cause for concern”. If it’s near the border, where it’s “violent and lawless”, then we need to disregard the rule of law and kill people. So you’re basically saying that in order to combat crime we need to commit crimes, like homicide? But only if it’s near the border, because their lives are worth less?

        I’ll stick to my dreamworld — the US. You, on the other hand, may want to consider emigrating to China. They wholeheartedly embrace your ideology.

        • You understood correctly. Kansas is not the site of drug and human smuggling activity and the violence associated with both. Maybe you should do a little research as to what is happening in Mexico and border states.
          Rule of law was not disregarded, DPS policy allows for the actions taken, whether you agree with them or not.

          I would venture to say that whole story is not being told.

  15. But no one yet has addressed why a “game warden” was attempted to stop a truck carrying illegals. Since when does parks&wildlife enforce immigration? Or drug enforcement? Texas (and potentially other states) allows game wardens to “search” any and all vehicles without any probable cause in an attempt to curb poaching. If, in their blatantly constitutional violating search, they happen on some other illegality, well …

    As a native born Texan, I have an innate distrust of the so-called game wardens in this state. Too many of them are frustrated hero wanna-be’s and insert themselves into activities far beyond counting bag limits or checking game tags.

    • Wait, what? I understand the moving vehicle exception to the requirement for warrants, but you’re saying a game warden can search you and your property at any time without even probably cause. Is this only on public land, or at any time? This is frickin’ nuts!

  16. @apollo13 (since the comment hierarchy seems to be broken)

    “excited delirium”, huh? Perhaps you’ve been ingesting some of those same illicit drugs to believe that nonsense. There’s a reason you want find the term inside any medical textbook, and only in the annals of law — because it has no medical meaning. In other words, it’s the label of last resort when the pathologist can’t find any other reason for death, but can’t/won’t bare the guaranteed ensuing lawsuit from Taser, Inc. if they list that as a factor in the COD.

    Tasers can and have caused death, particularly if the individual had underlying or undiagnosed heart conditions, such as arrhythmias. Can drug use complicate things? Sure. But tasers can be lethal, and “excited delirium” is a term devoid of meaning.

        • Nahh. Bush wasn’t racist. In fact, in his autobiography he talks about how being called a racist really hurt him. His problem was that he picked people to work for him, he chose loyalty above all else, to the detriment of talent or knowledge, instead of a healthy balance. That’s why we ended up with “Heckuva job, Brownie!”

          Just look at how he nominated Harriet Miers, his personal attorney, to be on the Supreme Court — despite the fact that she had absolutely zero knowledge or experience in constitutional law, and very little experience in case work. Choosing loyalty, not ability, was one of Bush’s biggest flaws.

    • Obama hasn’t helped but it’s been laissez faire concerning the border for decades. That’s why we have the unholy mess we do now.

  17. Live near the border and see the carnage and absolute flagrant disregard for ALL our laws for 40 years like I have and there’s no pity party for any of these fuckers. Most people see this as some poor people killed for no reason but all I see is a good goddam start to sending a clear message to quit riding around north of the border thinking you can do whatever you want.

  18. Its a war down along the border. Ranchers are getting killed and shot at by the drug runners and human smugglers. There is evidence where trails are cleared and keep clean by drug cartels to help move the drugs faster. Bob your socialist gov. isn’t trying to hard to stop or help the ranchers. If you look at the history of Texas, They take that saying “Don’t mess with Texas” in more ways than one.

  19. There’s a Raymond Chandler story where a nasty park warden slips a dead buck into the boot of Phil Marlowe’s buick and ‘catches’ him hunting out of season.
    (edit: I’m not enjoying this new comments system putting my replies in random places. Also, why do I now have to log in every time I comment?)

  20. Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, Bat25.c om

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