01/19/2007

Officials: Camera recorded Border Patrol agent shooting Mexican immigrant

The Associated Press

BISBEE, Ariz.- The shooting death of a Mexican immigrant by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, an incident which prompted an official protest by the Mexican government, was captured on surveillance cameras, authorities said.

The shooting of Francisco Javier Dominguez-Rivera, 22, of Puebla, Mexico, was captured by a digital video camera on a U.S. Border Patrol surveillance tower, said the Cochise county Sheriff's Office and Michael Nicley, chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. The recording, however, is not very clear and officials are trying to digitally enhance it to show more detail.

"You can't tell anything from the tape at all," Nicley was quoted as saying by the Sierra Vista Herald in its Friday edition. "You can barely even make out the bodies."

Protesting the Jan. 12 fatal shooting, the Mexican government a diplomatic note to the United States on Tuesday, and the FBI and county authorities are investigating the incident.

Officials have said that Dominguez-Rivera and two of his brothers were part of a group of seven people crossing the Arizona desert when they were discovered by the agent, who has not been identified. Six of the people were taken into custody without incident.

But Dominguez-Rivera started fighting with the agent who, believing his life was in danger, shot and killed the man, the Border Patrol has said.

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, but results have not been released.

The agent is on paid administrative leave while the case is pending.

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