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King: A fence could have prevented border shooting
A 15-year-old Mexican high school student on the Mexican side of the border was shot and killed last week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, a tragedy that could have been avoided if the Obama administration had “had lived up to its responsibility under the Secure Fence Act to build fences on our border,” U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said.
The incident is currently being investigated by the FBI. Mexican prosecutors, meanwhile, are investigating the case as a homicide, raising the possibility that the agent could also face charges in Mexico, although it is unlikely the U.S. would agree to extradite him. The agent involved says he was surrounded and attacked by a group of rock-throwing illegal immigrants, prompting him to use lethal force. But video of the shooting has surfaced that calls the agent’s story into question. Mexico’s foreign affairs ministry said it was a “disproportionate use of force” and urged the U.S. government to conduct a quick and transparent investigation.
“When faced with a life-threatening situation, this agent appears to have responded to lethal force with lethal force as authorized,” King said in a statement, later adding: “A border wall would dramatically reduce illegal immigration, and it would give Border Patrol agents protection from violent assaults that they now face. If we are serious about ending violence along the border, we must make the construction and completion of border fences our priority.”
King said the teen who was killed, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, had been charged with alien smuggling in 2009 and also appeared on a “most wanted” list of juvenile smugglers compiled by authorities in El Paso, Texas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mark Qualia told CNN that the victim had been apprehended by U.S. officials on more than one occasion but was never criminally charged.