A US Customs and Border Protection area spokesperson confirmed Monday the agency was investigating the death in the Skeleton Canyon area of the Peloncillo Mountains.
Federal and local authorities are investigating the death of a man who was shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent late Saturday a few miles north of the Mexico border near of the Arizona town of Douglas.
US Customs and Border Protection area spokesperson John Mennell confirmed Monday the agency was investigating with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, and that Mexican Consulate officials were notified of the death in the Skeleton Canyon area of the Peloncillo Mountains.
The Mexican Consulate in Douglas did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages.
The shooting was reported about 10 p.m. Saturday in “difficult terrain” on East Geronimo Trail, about 30 miles northeast of Douglas, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
“Early indications are that one male subject, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, was fatally wounded by a Border Patrol agent who was on duty with additional personnel,” it said.
Other people in the area were detained and taken to a Border Patrol station “for interview purposes and further processing,” the statement said.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety helped retrieve the man’s body early Sunday, and it was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Pima County.
The identity and nationality of the man were not immediately disclosed, pending notification of relatives, the Cochise County sheriff’s office statement said.
According to the Southern Border Communities Coalition, since Jan. 2010, at least 160 people have died as a result of an encounter with a border agent. “Many more people have been brutalized,” the organization tweeted. “The fact that no border agent has ever been successfully prosecuted is not accidental. It is by design. This must end and Congress can play a pivotal role.”