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Texas DPS- we'll only shoot at you if you shoot at us, entiendo? (courtesy

“A grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict a Texas trooper [Miguel Avila] who fired from a helicopter on a fleeing pickup truck along the U.S.-Mexico border, killing two Guatemalan immigrants,” the AP reports. “The DPS has said Avila was aboard the helicopter and believed drugs were in the truck’s bed when he opened fire during the pursuit near La Joya. The trooper opened fire to disable the vehicle because it was barreling toward a school zone, the DPS has said. Instead, nine Guatemalans and a teenage driver were found by authorities on the ground. Six of the Guatemalan immigrants were under a sheet, two of them wounded fatally. Nevertheless, DPS revised its policies in February to prohibit shooting from the sky unless the aircraft is fired upon. According to the revised policy, ‘a firearms discharge from an aircraft is authorized only when an officer reasonably believes that the suspect has used or is about to use deadly force by use of a deadly weapon against the air crew, ground officers or innocent third parties.'” Wait; what happens if a drug mule (being pursued by numerous cops for 14 miles) is barreling towards a school zone? Think of the children!


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  1. I was under the impression it’s illegal for cops in helicopters to be armed unless they are using military helicopters for raids in remote areas…now we need missiles to defend ourselves from the jack boots.

  2. So, I guess we can just throw the deadly force triangle out the window. No opportunity, capability or intent!? No problem!? Shoot ’em anyways.

    Oh, wait… I don’t have a badge, so I’m still bound by the law.

  3. So, the ROE for the helicopter sniper was was less strict than a combat zone ROE? Oh, I forgot, the U.S. is a combat zone according to some police chief comments we have read on here.

    • Nailed it. As gunners on slicks over Laos, we weren’t allowed to fire unless fired upon during Lam Son 719. (Don’t worry, it happend lots.) Ah, but that ROE was based on not provoking return fire. These guys in the chopper, they know there’s not going to be any return fire. If they want to stop the truck so badly, let them shoot engine-block busters. They’re cheap and a good areal gunner will find it more humane sport.

  4. Leave it to the “feel good” AP!

    First of all, they weren’t “two Guatemalan immigrants” that were killed.

    They were 2 of a party of 9 illegal aliens.

    Living in an area of Arizona that is one of the worst for human/drug smuggling, I congratulate Texas trooper Miguel Avila for ridding my country of 2 leeches!

    And to any who may feel the need to “blast” me here,

    Remember Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry before you do.

      • Dunno. Pretty sure you could make a case for tacking ‘felony flight’ on top of that ‘border jumping’ charge. And probably quite a lot of traffic violations.

        I don’t think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for violating immigration laws. Unfortunately, it looks a lot like there isn’t any other punishment being imposed these days.

      • Agree that summarily shooting boarder jumpers is not the right thing to do. But it is interesting that illegal aliens have gone from “Undocumented immigrants” to now just being “immigrants.”

    • The guy on the chopper is, in my book, a pathetic murderer. Taking out a truck engine from a chopper is short work if stopping the truck is want you want, not notches on your rifle stock. I’m anti-illegal-immigration, because we have legal immigration, “try it!” But sending somebody back to their country of citizenship is hardly cruel. The death penalty with some 22 year old wannabe as judge and jury? Sounds like Chechnya.

  5. I would have voted to indict him, if there were no other important facts than the ones cited above.

    But the more critical lesson is: Don’t get involved in the drug trade.

  6. Not a lot of info here. School zones don’t always have lots of kids near the road, but if this one did and the truck was indeed “barreling,” I’m inclined to leave Mr. Avila alone.

    • Yep. Partly depends on what time of day. In small towns, a lot of kids walk home from school, and they walk home for lunch too. Not a good place to be for a truck that’s de facto out of control.

  7. It’s sad, but they are here illegally and in this case the driver was arrested later for driving a stolen vehicle. They don’t exactly sound like upstanding citizens

    >The teenage driver, now 15, was arrested, released by mistake, arrested again in December driving a >stolen vehicle and placed on probation to be deported. He was arrested again last month by the U.S. >Border Patrol.

  8. Ya know, I love TTAG, some of the best written, well-spoken, and thought-out articles I’ve seen on the web. But I gotta say the whole anti-cop sentiment around here is getting old. My father is a 25 year veteran of the local police department tactical team. He doesn’t go around shooting people, steal peoples’ guns, and kidnap people in the night, he risks his life going into crappy situations against people that want to kill innocent people and himself. He’s also one of the biggest pro 2nd-Amendment supporters I’ve ever met – SHOCKER. Anyways, keep up the good fight TTAG, I’m one year in with you guys. but just know that not all cops are out to get you.

    Bash me if you must.

    • I do not think it is anti-police more than anti-militarization of the police, which I can personally get behind. Remember, police are citizens and as such should have the same 2nd amendment rights as everyone else.

    • Most cops never shoot any one, steal or kidnap people. Most cops faithfully perform their duties the best they can and do so on the up and up -with honor.
      I know cops routinely put their lives on the line to enforce laws…voluntarily, with pay. Matter of fact, I went to school with two guys that went on to become cops…they’ve told stories. Even have a cop in the family so I get it.
      None of that changes the real world experience folks see everyday. The beyond arrogant smugness, “I dare you to say anything besides yes sir” attitude, the “I’ll shine my flash light in your eyes cause I can boy” does cause some folks to form an opinion.
      I’ve never been arrested, haven’t had a speeding ticket in 20 years, no traffic violation, never “run” with the wrong crowd…still seen it though.
      From the time we can talk, we’re told cops are heros, you can trust them, they’re you friends…until you turn 17, sitting on the tailgate talking in the parking lot, not drinking, not smoking, not fighting, not hollering, not racing, not shooting, not cutting…somebody has a radio on with the window rolled down. Next thing your know 5 cop cars come rolling up with Barney and Paul Blart leading the pack wanting to arrest everyone for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, assembly without a permit, or “you can leave now and we can do this all over again next weekend.”
      A town of 6000 folks, we’ve all met, you know each other…what do you think we’re up to?
      It’d be nice if some of the veteran officers would step up, and put a stop to that behavior. Perhaps a lot fewer folks would view cops with a gaze of suspicion.
      I have noticed that as I age, I don’t run across the “attitude” as much as I used to. It has been years since I run across deputy as_. Of course, I have my own house now and don’t spend time in the parking lots anymore. Come to think of it, instead of sitting in the parking lot back then, maybe we should have been shooting beer cans in the woods.

    • Dr. GunRun: We have thousands of Americans trained to shoot from the air with enough skill to hit the front of the truck (engine), not the back (people). Avila even claimed that was his goal. I’ve done it. It isn’t difficult with any experience. The chopper was free to parallel the truck and match its speed, making engine hits an unadjusted no-lead shot. If you really believe your dad would have approved the guy’s shooting, just tell me.

    • Cops follow the directions of politicians. As long as politicians want to be seen as caring about citizens, they will hire cops and cops will prevent some crime. However, every aggressive act carried out by the state is carried out by cops. Economically destructive legislation is only followed because of threat of violence by cops. Gun confiscation IS threatened by cops, if it’s not the right gun or the right person. Drug legislation carried out by cops directly and indirectly results in homicide. Citizens do intervene and stop truly unstable people from owning weapons sometimes, but other times they cannot be stopped. Violent crimes are prevented by cops, but more are prevented by non-cops. A cop under state employee is different from a “public” security employee in that it’s the former’s job to trespass and kidnap (though not always “in the night” to reference your post).

      I’m sure that cops do experience dangerous situations, love their families, and want to keep their neighbors safe, but in the end they also enforce whatever violent acts they are commanded. When non-cops do that, we get in big trouble. If there’s a cop out there who will only protect people in defensive situations, but will not follow orders to trespass, shoot non-defensively, or stir up violence, I have no problem with that cop.

      Obama and his handlers/associates have done nothing to us. The political effects we experience are directly a result of both violent and willing actions made by individuals. The backbone of the state is the police.

      • Not only do I disagree with you, but you need to learn basic English. “Gun confiscation IS threatened by cops.” I don’t think that means what you think it means. If gun confiscation was really threatened by police wouldn’t that be a good thing? Did you mean to say that cops are threatening to carry out gun confiscation?

        For everyone out there who is filled with such hatred for law enforcement; what realistic steps can be taken to fix the problems?

        • I have no overarching hatred for law enforcement whatsoever, however the sentiment here seems to be that the police are held to a different standard than ordinary “civilians”. LEOs are rarely held personally responsible for atrocious acts committed, whether intentional or accidental. Many commenters here also take issue with the continued and frankly preposterous transformation of the law enforcement community from a friendly group of people enforcing laws and helping others into a paramilitary force of jackbooted thugs who are above the law. I fully recognize that the majority of law enforcement officer are good people doing a necessary job. But those guys are not the ones that make the news and sway peoples’ opinion on the entire community of police officers.

          What can the LE community do to make this right?
          1. Stop conducting no-knock raids in the middle of the night, if you do, make sure to double check that address. There is no need for overwhelming force in most cases.
          2.Stop shooting people’s dogs. People like their dogs.
          3. Start acting like the civilians you are. Drop the whole wannabe infantry cos-play fantasy.
          4. Obey the laws you are enforcing. You are not above the law. People hate hypocrisy.

        • “2.Stop shooting people’s dogs. People like their dogs.”

          Sometimes the simplest words are the most important. I say that as the owner of a dog that would be a prime candidate for shooting in the event of law enforcement activity, even activity that’s not directed at me. She’s skittish around strangers and displays that mild apprehension by keeping her distance, lowering her head, and (this is the important one) growling way down in her chest like SHE’S A DEMON THAT’S GOING TO EAT YOUR SOUL.

          She rarely barks at people and she’s never bitten anything bigger than a milk bone, and I’m pretty sure if she did bite someone it would scare her more than it scared them. But the growling is scary as hell if you don’t know her, and it seems very rarely is any thought taken before action anymore.

        • “It seems very rarely is any thought taken before action anymore”. – Therein lies the rub. From the stories we keep hearing, I wonder if some of these guys think at all before acting. Why is it necessary to shoot people’s dogs anyways? Don’t the officers carry mace/OC spray? Tasers? I would think if confronted with a seemingly threatening animal I would reach for my spray before my gat. JMO, and I am not in LE…

          My dogs, being “bully breed” dogs are also prime candidates for getting shot. While not aggressive, they are territorial and tend to growl at strangers who show up uninvited, it is part of their protective nature. I like them very much…and I would be very sad if they were killed.

  9. Didn’t we used to have something called “due process” here in the USA?

    Shoot an assailant or home invader in the back and see how sympathetic your friendly neighborhood cops are to your cause.

    • Dunno about your neck of the woods, but so long as it happens inside the structure the cops around here are more likely to rate your grouping than charge you.

      You will be cuffed while they sort out what happened, of course.

  10. “Oh won’t you PLEASE think of the children!” LOL So basically they changed the rules to prevent nothing. According to the new ruling he still would have been justified in shooting.

  11. Please go back to the other screen browser,was better.Now if the president can have US citizens killed in other countries by drone,with no evidence at all,then it should be okay for this guy,who felt he had probable cause,plus these guys weren’t US citizens,which I feel should not have the benefits of our Constitution,until they go through the system we have to become citizens!Let this guy go,no punishment.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  12. I’m with Ralph. The police are not allowed to impose the death penalty. Bringing drugs onto a school does not mean the police can execute someone. Our police are out of control.

  13. And shame on that grand jury. The next time you drive to a school the police have put you on notice that they can kill you with impunity and just claim they were trying to disable your engine. And if they, against all experience, actually hit the engine and no people, then you’re stuck with a destroyed vehicle. And they will laugh and say, “sorry, I thought you were bringing drugs to a school.”

  14. Maybe the DNC should revise their “Helpful Hints for Undocumented Emigrants” pamphlet.

    Proposed Addition: “In the unlikely event you are being pursued by law enforcement, do not flee. Stand your ground and insist on your EBT card and free cell phone.”

  15. I think I can see why Avila was cut some slack. If you live down there you know that these trucks crammed with illegals are constantly running off the road, sometimes rolling and killing everyone inside, sometimes causing fires in pastures. Sometimes it’s an accident and sometmes it’s on purpose, because typically the trucks veer off through a fence into a field and everyone bails in 14 different directions. Then if it’s been dry, the grass ignites from the heat of the exhaust system.

    It seems to happen weekly, it’s so common. Perhaps he was right to want to keep the truck away from the school.

    • There was also an incident not too long ago in which a truck full of illegals ran through a fence and into a stock tank where some of the passengers drowned. They’re extremely reckless when they’re on the run.

  16. A few things to keep in mind;

    If you run from the cops in a stolen vehicle, you’re likely to get shot at.
    If you run from the cops in a stolen vehicle in an area known for drug smuggling and illegals, your risk increases.
    If you run from the police in said area and you’re heading for a school, the odds went up by a bunch.

    As for police militarization, sure, I’d have rather seen a nice S&W 357 Mag out the window of a Piper Cub, but it is what it is.

  17. Some these Goddamn comments I swear.

    They weren’t worried about drugs going into the school, they were worried about you didn’t guess it because you are so damn retarded, DRUG SMUGGLERS.

    Either way, RF intentionally hides the full story in which the 2 people shot and killed weren’t even visible, they were laying in the back. The trooper wasn’t trying to shoot the engine block with a 5.56, he was shooting the rear wheel.

  18. Texas DPS Chopper Sniper Skates (like this terminology) The trooper opened fire to disable the vehicle because it was barreling toward a school zone, the DPS has said. Instead, nine Guatemalans and a teenage driver(totally legit?and having our best interest at heart) were found by authorities on the ground. The words moron, imbecile, and idiot mean different things. In psychology, an idiot has the least intelligence on the IQ scale (this now is equivalent to someone who is mentally retarded or the more politically correct “mentally challenged”); an imbecile is not quite as dumb as an idiot and is now considered equivalent to moderate retardation; a moron is then the highest level of intelligence for someone who is mentally retarded, thus considered as being mildly mentally retarded. Specifically, those who have an IQ between 0 and 25 are idiots; IQs between 26 and 50 are considered imbeciles; and those who have an IQ between 51 and 70 are considered morons. I am so happy to be a moron!!!


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