Mexican government asks for investigation of death


The Associated Press

ESCOBARES, Texas- The Mexican government has asked for a "thorough investigation" after the weekend shooting death of a 23-year-old Mexican resident following a foot chase that began after he was pulled over by a police officer in this small border town west of McAllen.

Ismael Segura Mendez was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving by Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick O'Connor around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, said Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.

The driver sped off as O'Connor approached and, after a chase, fled on foot, ending up against a fence and the wall of a house, Mange said. Mendez turned and advanced toward O'Connor, who opened fire on Mendez, Mange said. Mendez died later at a hospital.

"We condemn these acts, but we assume they are isolated," said Ruben Aguilar, spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox. "We do not believe that there is a state of violence against Mexican migrants in the border region."

"The Mexican Consulate in McAllen has asked the Department of Public Safety of the state of Texas for a thorough investigation into the circumstances in which our compatriot died," Mexico's foreign relations department said in a news release.

Mange said it was not known whether Mendez brandished a weapon. O'Connor was placed on routine administrative leave, and the matter is under review by the Texas Rangers, whose findings will be submitted to the district attorney's office in Starr County, Mange said.

It is not known whether Mendez was in the U.S. legally, Mange said. Roy Cervantes, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection McAllen sector, said his agency was not contacted and is not part of the investigation.

Escobares is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of McAllen.

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