An autopsy report has allegedly revealed that the US Border Patrol shot a teen in the back 11 times. According to statements, the Mexican boy, age 16, was in Mexico when the shooting occurred.
US Border Patrol officers reportedly called the incident in and reported that the boy had been shot. When police arrived at the scene, 16-year-old José Antonio Rodríguez was already dead.
According to the autopsy conducted by the Sonora Attorney General’s office, the boy was shot 11 times. The first eight shots were located in the boy’s back. As reported by El Diario, the trajectory of the last three bullets suggest that the boy was lying face down at the time.
The cause of death, as determined by two Attorney General specialists, is listed as internal bleeding and head injury.
The US Border Patrol officers contend that they shot the teen in self-defense. The officers were reportedly responding to a call involving drug trafficking when someone started throwing rocks in their direction.
Current policy defines rocks as “potentially lethal,” and officers are permitted to use force if they feel threatened. That policy is currently under review by Homeland Security.
As reported by USA Today, the Nogales, Mexico police question the US Border Patrol’s account:
“whoever was throwing rocks was flinging them over the fence, not through the 3.5 inch gaps between the metal poles. Given the arc that a rock would have to travel to pass over the fence from the street below, it would be nearly impossible for the projectile to hit someone right next to the fence, where the agent would have had to have stood to fire down at the youth through the fence’s metal bars.”
Luis Parra, attorney for the Rodriguez, points out that it has been especially frustrating as there has been little “collaboration at all between US and Mexican authorities.” In his opinion, the US Border Patrol was using excessive force when they shot José in the back 11 times.
The FBI and Border Patrol have declined to comment on the report as they are conducting an ongoing investigation.