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SUV loaded with illegal immigrants is sprayed by gunfire

June 14, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Eight people were hit by gunfire overnight by unknown assailants as a vehicle containing 21 undocumented immigrants was sprayed with bullets.

U.S. Border Patrol Senior Patrol Agent Dionicio Delgado Jr. said agents found the injured people and the vehicle in an area known as "Exit Five," north of Mount Signal and south of Highway 98, around 12:30 this morning.

Delgado said agents, using a scope, spotted two vehicles from a distance heading north on Exit Five. The agents determined the vehicles were not U.S. Border Patrol so they went to investigate.

One of the vehicles, a sport utility vehicle, was found on the side of the road south of Highway 98 with bullet holes in it and several wounded passengers. The other vehicle was not found.


He said agents rendered medical attention to the eight people who were wounded. One of the wounded was taken to a hospital in San Diego for serious injuries he sustained.

Information on the condition of the eight and the extent of their injuries was not available this morning.

Delgado said Imperial County Sheriff's Office investigators and FBI agents will be investigating the incident. Neither agency was available for comment this morning.

Delgado said the immigrants told agents they had been shot at by people in another vehicle that drove back into Mexico.

Senior Border Patrol Agent Manuel Figueroa said they don't know if the second vehicle was the one from which people shot at the illegal immigrants but added that is possible.

Further information was not available this morning.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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