Senior law enforcement officials confirmed that seven people — believed to be migrants — who were waiting at a bus stop in a Texas border city were killed, and a dozen more were injured when a vehicle rammed into them early Sunday. The incident occurred at a stop near a Catholic Charities facility in Brownsville known as the Ozanam Center.
Authorities initially believed it was an intentional act; however, they later said it was unclear whether it was intentional or not — and that the investigation into the motive is ongoing. In an interview, Brownsville Lt. Martin Sandoval also said that police were also looking into whether the driver was intoxicated or whether the incident was an accident, but said the driver, a Hispanic male, has refused to cooperate with investigators. Said Sandoval: “he has given us several names,” adding that authorities are waiting for a fingerprint match they hope will identify the driver, who has been charged with reckless driving. Sandoval said more charges are likely, and that the FBI is assisting Brownsville police in the investigation.
The Brownsville Fire Department said on its official Facebook page that ambulances took 11 people injured in the crash at 8:30 a.m. to local hospitals; and one of the injured was airlifted to Valley Baptist Medical Center in nearby Harlingen.
Brownsville is one of the border cities that is already seeing a surge in migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico before the Title 42 immigration program ends Thursday. The Covid ban, imposed in the last year of the Trump administration, has turned migrants back to Mexico more than 2.5 million times since it went into effect in March 2020.
Editorial credit: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com