Gunmen in Mexico fired 20 shots across the international border at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent patrolling near El Paso, Texas, Friday, according to officials, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
CBP officials said in a statement that the agent was driving along the Rio Grande in the area of the Jonathan Rogers Water Treatment Plant when gunmen opened fire across the river from the Mexican side of the border around 3 a.m., forcing the border agent to take cover.
Camera operators confirmed two individuals armed with rifles were shooting from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, the agency said, adding, “Approximately 20 rounds were fired towards the agent from approximately 150 yards away.”
The agent was unharmed and two individuals were seen fleeing the scene in a sedan on the Mexican side of the river. Officials said Mexican law enforcement was immediately notified of the situation and officers were subsequently dispatched to the area.
The attack comes less than a month after a large canvas sign that read “we will kill you” in an apparent threat to U.S. border patrol agents was hung from a bridge of Viaducto Diaz Ordaz in Juarez.
“Warning. This is for the municipal [police], state, National Guard and for the (expletive deleted) gringos of La Migra [U.S. Border Patrol]. Stop (expletive deleted) with the polleros [human smugglers] or we will kill you. Bullets also can cross the river and the [border] wall, so stop (expletive deleted) around,” the sign’s full message stated.
Juarez police removed the sign shortly after it was discovered.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is aware of the threat and the matter has been referred to the appropriate investigative entities. As with any threat made against CBP personnel, it will be handled accordingly and not taken lightly,” the agency said in an email, according to Border Report.
The agency noted that all threats will be investigated and those responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“The referenced threat is a reminder that members of transnational criminal organizations will stop at nothing to further their exploitation of those being smuggled into the United States, to include not only harming their victims, but threatening U.S. federal law enforcement officers when their illicit activities are threatened,” the agency said.
Over one million illegal immigrants have been arrested or turned back while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border, agency enforcement statistics revealed.