NOGALES, Ariz. — The Nogales Deconcini Port of Entry is open Friday following a shooting involving a Customs and Border Protection officer, who shot the driver of a vehicle attempting to cross into Mexico.
Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino initially told several media outlets that the man was killed, but reports now indicate the man is clinging to life after a gunshot wound to the head.
It started at around 7 p.m. Thursday night when CBP officers say they tried to stop a man driving into Mexico for a routine car inspection. When he didn't stop, a CBP officer shot him.
Mayor Garino says the checks are designed to stop the part of the drug trade that moves money and guns South.
“That’s why they have the random southbound checks," Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said. "They don’t have them all the time and they only do that for that reason so nobody takes any weapons into Mexico or money.”
After shots were fired, CBP says the car continued to roll across the border when Mexican authorities gave the man first aid.
The Red Cross in Mexico identified the man as 21-year-old Angel Emanuel Mendivil Perez and said he was shot in the head. He was transfered to authorities in Nogales, Arizona, in critical condition and flown to Banner UMC trauma center in Tucson.
CBP said it would release more information about the shooting Friday.
There was a similar incident at a different Nogales port nearly three years ago. In that case, a human smuggling suspect was trying to escape into Mexico. He was shot, wounded and sentenced to 27 months in Prison.