July 9, 2020

A CBP officer and a contract security guard shot and killed a man, who was apparently wielding a knife, just inside the U.S. border at the Calexico, California port of entry. The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported:

Pete Flores, director of field operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, said an individual brandishing a knife approached the agent and the security guard just after 9 a.m. at the international border’s pedestrian crossing.

“As the man approached the CBP officer and the guard with the knife, both drew and fired their weapons, and the man was shot,” Flores said in a written statement.

…Mexican law enforcement officials in Mexicali were dispatched to the pedestrian crossing after receiving reports of an incident there, they said in a statement in Spanish.

Officers observed a man walking toward the gate, carrying a bag over his shoulder. The man was “supposedly” carrying narcotics, the statement said. It said he fled toward the U.S. side of the gate when he saw Mexican police officers.

The man dropped the bag before crossing the international line and, according to the statement, U.S. customs agents shot him after he crossed into the U.S.

According to a CBP statement, the DHS Inspector-General, the FBI, and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility were investigating. (Original link) “CBP is also coordinating with the Mexican Consuls General in San Diego and Calexico, Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT), and the Mexicali Police Department.”

The Mexican consulate in Calexico called on U.S. authorities “for an explanation of the facts and for an exhaustive investigation to clarify the situation, determine responsibilities and determine if there was an excessive use of force.”

— Colin Atagi, Christopher Damien, Omar Ornelas, “US Border Agent, Security Guard shot man at Calexico Border Crossing” (Palm Springs: Desert Sun, July 9, 2020) <https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2020/07/09/gunfire-reported-near-calexico-united-states-mexico-border/5407043002/>.

— U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “CBP Statement on an Officer Involved Fatal Shooting at the Calexico West Port of Entry,” July 10, 2020. <https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/speeches-and-statements/cbp-statement-officer-involved-fatal-shooting-calexico-west-port>.

— Dominguez, Alejandro. “Pide consulado exhaustiva investigación de muerte de connacional por parte de CBP de EU.” La Voz de la Frontera. July 11, 2020. <https://www.lavozdelafrontera.com.mx/policiaca/pide-consulado-exhaustiva-investigacion-de-muerte-de-connacional-por-parte-de-cbp-de-eu-5481409.html>.

Sector(s): San Diego Field Office

Agency(ies): Office of Field Operations

Event Type(s): Use of Force

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG, Under FBI Investigation, Under OPR Investigation

Victim Classification: Single Adult