U.S. border police shoot man wielding replica pistol

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 2:23 PM
U.S. border police shoot man wielding replica pistol

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. border police shot and wounded a man who brandished a replica pistol after being detained for barging through a border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, California, authorities said on Friday.

The unidentified man approached a pedestrian booth at the San Ysidro port of entry late on Thursday afternoon, and attempted to walk through to California without being fully processed, the San Diego Police Department said in a news release.

After inspectors apprehended the man and escorted him behind a turnstile at the crossing, he reached into his waistband and pulled out a chrome-finished replica handgun, which he raised above his head.

"Several people reported hearing the handgun making a noise consistent with a gunshot," the police said in a news release.

"In response, two Customs and Border Protection officers fired at the suspect," it added.

The man was rushed to a hospital trauma center, where he underwent surgery for his injuries. His condition was not immediately known on Friday.

The San Diego Police Department's Homicide Unit is investigating the use of force in this incident, while the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency are weighing bringing criminal charges against the injured man.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency in San Diego said officials closed the pedestrian facility to travelers after the shooting to allow detectives to complete their investigation.

They later opened two vehicle lanes at the port to process pedestrians. The facility was open as normal on Friday.

(Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Jerry Norton)