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Texas police helicopter fires on immigrants, killing two


By Bill Van Auken
27 October 2012

A Texas state police helicopter opened fire on a truckload of fleeing immigrants Thursday, killing two and wounding at least one other.

The deadly incident took place near La Joya, Texas, about 70 miles northwest of Brownsville. State authorities reported that it began when Texas Parks and Wildlife police began pursuing a red pickup truck packed with immigrant workers, who were suspected of having crossed the border from Mexico.

When the pickup failed to stop for the game wardens, they called in the Texas Department of Public Safety, which sent the helicopter. DPS helicopters patrolling the border area carry snipers armed with high-powered rifles.

A spokesperson for the DPS, also known as the Texas Rangers, initially called the shooting an “enforcement action,” but declined to comment further on the killings. On Friday, the agency issued a statement claiming that the police had fired on the vehicle in an attempt to disable it.

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