Report: Border Patrol Shot 16-Year-Old 11 Times In The Back

Credit: Charlie Leight, The Arizona Republic

On October 10, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez at the border of Mexico and Arizona. According to details in a new autopsy report, Elena Rodgriguez may have been shot as many as 11 times, all but one bullet hitting the teen from behind.

The details are still emerging in an ongoing FBI investigation. Officials say an agent opened fire on the Mexican teen, who was throwing rocks over the border fence. Under the Border Patrol’s current policy, lethal force can be used against someone throwing rocks if agents view a threat. But according to Nogales, Arizona police, it is extremely unlikely those rocks could have hit someone standing next to the fence.

An independent medical examiner who was not involved in the autopsy said the shooting “could be consistent with someone being shot and falling, with subsequent shots hitting the prone body.”

Since 2010, Border Patrol agents have killed at least 19 people. These investigations take years to resolve, and even then it is “extremely rare” for border authorities to face criminal charges. The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing its policy that allows deadly force against rock-throwers, as its current policies face sharp criticism of human rights abuse.