PHOENIX, Feb 7 (Reuters) - A Mexican teenager killed when
the U.S. Border Patrol opened fire on a group of rock throwers
in Mexico last year was shot at least seven times from behind,
an autopsy by Mexican authorities showed.
Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was shot as agents fired
into Nogales, Mexico, after responding to reports of drug
trafficking on Oct 10.
An attorney acting for the Elena Rodriguez family, Luis F.
Parra, released a copy of the Mexican medical examiner's report
The autopsy was conducted several hours after the shooting.
It found that the teen had been struck in the head, neck and
body by at least seven bullets fired from behind him. It
described several other bullet injuries, some of which may have
been exit wounds.
Following the shooting, Mexican authorities condemned the
U.S. Border Patrol's use of lethal force and called for a timely
and transparent investigation.
In a written statement, the Border Patrol said the incident
began shortly before midnight on Oct. 10 when agents responded
to reports of two suspected smugglers, who they watched drop
drugs on the Arizona side of the border.
The smugglers then fled back across the border into Mexico
and "began assaulting the agents with rocks." An unnamed agent
opened fire after the suspects refused orders to stop, the
News pictures taken shortly after the October shooting
showed Elena Rodriguez' apparently lifeless body face down on
the sidewalk a few yards south of the border fence, which
consists of parallel steel barriers.
The FBI has been leading the investigation into the
shooting. A spokesman for the agency's Phoenix division declined
on Thursday to comment on the autopsy or the continuing
Parra did not immediately respond to a request on Thursday
for comment on the autopsy's findings.
Elena Rodriguez was the second Mexican teenager killed in a
clash with the Border Patrol in the Mexican border city in less
than two years. In January 2011, an agent fired into Mexico,
killing 17-year-old Ramses Barron of Nogales.
The Elena Rodriguez shooting came more than a week after a
Border Patrol agent was shot dead near the border in an apparent
friendly fire incident.
Arizona is on a major route for Mexican smuggling networks
hauling drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States, and
running guns and cash profits back south to Mexico.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Bill Trott)
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- Crime & Justice
- Border Patrol