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Texas Soldiers Shoot At Children And Their Families With Pepper Balls At The Border

On Tuesday morning, Texas soldiers shot several migrant families, including children, with pepper balls, a type of non-lethal projectile, at the Rio Grande in El Paso.

Border Report captured video of a member of the Texas Army National Guard aiming a rifle from behind the razor wire and firing a shot toward the river.

According to Denise and Antonio, a couple of Venezuelan asylum-seekers, Texas soldiers fired at them while they were with their 1-year-old daughter.

They said that they had to place a piece of cardboard between two shrubs on the Mexican side of the river to protect their daughter from stray shots. “The shots came from the other side,” Antonio told Border Report. “Yes, we are afraid for our baby.”

By Tuesday morning, about 250 migrants had gathered on the Mexican side of the border waiting for the Guard to let them cross the river or leave.

Another Venezuelan man, Kennedy, had to place a blanket between shrubs to protect his family from the shots. 

“This is to protect them if (the soldiers) fire from over there,” Kennedy told Border Report “They fired and nobody was crossing.”

Another Venezuelan man said Texas agents shot him two pepper balls in the neck and side after he crossed the Rio Grande and pleaded with them to let families cross the razor wire.

“Imagine if instead of a paintball it had been a (real bullet), it would have killed me,” the man said. When Border Report asked him if he tried to cross the border to seek asylum, the man said no. “I went there to tell them about the children here, and they fired left and right.”

According to the man, families had tried to cross earlier in the morning, but the guard told them to return to Mexico.

A reporter was also shot by the Texas Guard. The man, a photographer for El Heraldo de Juarez, said he went to document the movement of migrants who said they were being attacked by U.S. authorities.

“I found a member of the National Guard pointing and shooting toward the Mexican side where the people were,” Francisco Servin, the photographer, said. “When they see me, the officer points at me and shoots twice without striking me.”

Though pepper balls are considered non-lethal, they can cause severe or permanent injury if they are shot at head, face, eyes, neck or spine, and the product guide clearly advises avoiding these areas. In some cases, however, pepper balls have proved to be lethal if shot to the head.

Servin also said the National Guard were “very aggressive people.”

Border Report reached out to the Texas Military Department for comment but received no response.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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