Texas investigating Guardsman in border-related shooting incident

by Vern Evans

Texas officials are investigating a shooting at the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso that involved a National Guard soldier assigned to Operation Lone Star, the Texas-led border security mission.

“Early on the afternoon of 14 April, a National Guard service member assigned to Operation Lone Star discharged a weapon in a border-related incident,” Texas Military Department officials told Army Times in an email statement. “The incident is under investigation. More information will be made available as the investigation progresses.”

Operation Lone Star is a border security mission launched by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2021 and run by the Texas Military Department and Texas Department of Public Safety that also uses Texas Army National Guard soldiers. At least 14 states with Republican governors have committed their Guard troops to support the operation in Texas.

The website NewsNation first reported the incident Monday after the outlet obtained a U.S. Border Patrol bulletin.

The bulletin, shown during the NewsNation video report, notes that at about 1:10 p.m. on April 14, a Border Patrol agent was notified by Army personnel that “a migrant was seen stabbing another migrant on the Mexico side of the U.S. border wall in the El Paso Sector near the Ysleta Station.

“The subject who was shot fled back into Mexico,” according to the bulletin.

The Texas Department of Safety contained the scene and two wounded individuals were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the bulletin. The news outlet reported that the soldier who fired at the migrant was with the Indiana National Guard.

“The Indiana National Guard is aware of the incident that happened Sunday, April 14,” Indiana National Guard officials told Army Times in an email statement. “We support and care for our soldiers and airmen supporting Operation Lone Star.”

Indiana Guard officials deferred any further comment about the incident to the Texas Military Department.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the deployment of 50 Indiana National Guard soldiers to support Operation Lone Star in February. Their 10-month mission began earlier this month, Indiana Guard officials confirmed.

Between October 2020 and October 2023, 300 Indiana Guardsmen have served in federal missions at the border. Officials did not provide unit details or specifics of Indiana Guard soldiers’ duties in the current mission.

In August 2023, a Texas National Guard member fired across the border and hit a man along the Rio Grande River near El Paso.

The Washington Post reported at the time that the Texas Guard soldier fired after “three men on the Mexican side of the border started attacking a group of migrants with a knife as the migrants attempted to cross the river.”

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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