EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Texas Military Department confirmed on Monday that a member of the Texas Army National Guard discharged his weapon during a “border-related” incident on Saturday evening in South El Paso.
In a statement, a TMD spokesperson said “the incident is under investigation” and “more information will be made available as the investigation progresses.”
Also Saturday evening, a man on the Mexican side said he heard gunshots and was struck in the leg near the Bridge of the Americas.
The man told reporters in Juarez, Mexico, that border agents shot him from the U.S. side.
Border Report contacted U.S. Border Patrol officials in El Paso, who said the incident involved the Texas National Guard and referred any inquiries to the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
A DPS spokesperson had told Border Report, “It’s pending investigation.” A DPS spokesperson confirmed Monday that “DPS troopers responded to a call of a shooting involving a National Guard Soldier along the Texas/Mexico border in West Texas.” The incident is now under investigation by the Texas Rangers, DPS said.
On Monday, the Border Network of Human Rights, a migrant advocacy group, said a 22-year-old man from Veracruz, Mexico, was shot in the leg while working out along the border on Saturday evening.
The man told reporters he was practicing sports as migrants attempted to cross the border. He said he heard gunshots and felt one of his legs was hot before realizing he was wounded.
Video from the scene showed paramedics treating the man on the ground along the border before putting him into an ambulance.
Border Report asked the Texas Military Department whether any members of the National Guard were involved in the shooting and under what circumstances and is awaiting a response.
BNHR has called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate, the immediate removal of all Texas National Guard troops and DPS troopers from border communities, and for Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star to cease.
“We are deeply appalled by the actions of the Texas National Guard, which under Abbott’s leadership has continued to usurp federal authority and unleash unnecessary chaos at our southern border. The use of disproportionate lethal force is the result of the disastrous Operation Lone Star,” BNHR Executive Director Fernando García said in a statement.
Operation Lone Star is a multi-billion-dollar border security initiative launched by Abbott in March 2021. It sent DPS troopers and the National Guard to the border to prevent migrant smuggling and drug trafficking. Most recently, Texas installed marine barriers in the middle of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Abbott blames the Biden administration for the “crisis” at the border, and Abbott has repeatedly said that Texas has the sovereign authority under the U.S. Constitution to secure its border with Mexico.
“Texas will not stand idly by while Biden’s open border policies wreak havoc on our nation,” Abbott tweeted on Sunday in reference to the support Operation Lone Star received from fellow Republican governors.