Bullets vs rocks
BP confrontation with rock-throwers sends shots into Mexico. They kill a teenager Video by kgun9.comvideo
The President of the Border Patrol Council says there's no set rule that government how Agents use their weapons near the Mexican Border
Veteran defense attorney Brick Storts doesn't question whether rocks can be dangerous at close range. He does question whether Agents could have moved out of range rather than resort to gunfire
Reporter: Craig Smith
NOGALES, Ariz (KGUN9-TV)- Was a US Border Patrol agent in Nogales justified when he shot through the border fence and killed a teenager in Mexico? The agent told investigators he fired because people were throwing rocks at him from the Mexican side of the fence.
Nine wants to know if that's valid use of deadly force.
According to agents they saw people who dropped a drug load and ran back to Mexico. They start throwing rocks at the agents. Agents warned them to stop. They don't. One of the agents fired. Shots went through the border fence and killed a 16 year old boy in Mexico.
For a long time Border Patrol has contended that rocks can be deadly force. No one from the Patrol is commenting but George McCubbin, the President of the Border Patrol Council, the union for agents, says rocks are a threat serious enough to justify responding with bullets.
And he tells us there is no order that restricts agents from firing towards Mexico.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked McCubbin: "If the people throwing rocks are clearly on the other side of the fence, is that a consideration in their response?"
Mc Cubbin: "Without knowing all the facts I couldn't tell you yes or no. Based on that agent's perception at that time and he thought using deadly force was the best course of action, then I'm not going to say second guess him."
The usual rule for law enforcement is deadly force is justified if an officer needs to protect his life or someone else's.
Veteran Defense attorney Brick Storts has defended officers in deadly force cases. He asks if the rock throwers were on the far side of a high wall, couldn't agents have simply moved away to stay safe.
He says, "I think that is replete with a lot of problems for people to be doing that who are Border Patrol, officials of the United States firing into another country when its hard for me to envision that it would be such a deadly situation that their lives were in danger."
KGUN9 News also talked to Attorney Mike Storie who has represented Border Patrol agents. He confirms there's no official rule against firing into Mexico but he also questions whether the agent needed to shoot to defend himself instead of simply moving out of reach of the rocks.