According to court filings filed on Thursday, two undocumented migrants were shot by two males in a pickup vehicle that approached them as they walked down a highway in West Texas. One of the migrants who was shot died at the scene, while the other survived.
The vehicle was discovered parked at a residence in Hudspeth County, which is a rural region east of El Paso that stretches from the border with Mexico to the state boundary of New Mexico. The shooting took place on Tuesday evening.
Michael Sheppard, the warden of a nearby privately managed correctional institution, and Mark Sheppard, his twin brother, were both detained in connection with the shooting, according to law enforcement authorities.
According to affidavits that were presented by detectives in the case, both individuals were charged with manslaughter for the death of the victim. Neither one of them could be contacted right away for a remark.
In the state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has been transporting thousands of asylum seekers by bus to cities in the north that are run by Democrats. Abbott claims that he is doing this to relieve the strain that is being placed on resources in the frequently impoverished rural counties that are located along the border. In addition, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made arrangements for 48 migrants who had been staying in San Antonio to be transported to Martha’s Vineyard at the beginning of this month.
The migrants said that they had heard the man before revving the engine of the truck. According to the affidavits, the migrants informed investigators that they heard the truck’s engine revving, which caused them to assume that the vehicle was about to drive away. At that time, they said, they heard two bullets fired.
In their interviews with the police, which were summarised in the affidavits, the two men stated that they had been out looking for animals to shoot. They initially told investigators that they had been looking for ducks, and then they told them that they had been looking for birds, and finally they told them that they had been looking for javelinas, which are hoglike animals that are common in the drier parts of West Texas.
According to the affidavits, Mark Sheppard said that they had stopped the truck because they were under the impression that they had sighted a javelina. Mark Sheppard also testified that his brother had exited the vehicle while carrying a shotgun and had discharged it twice. According to the affidavits, he said that neither of them went to check to see whether they had hit anything while they were digging.
According to the affidavits, he denied to the police that either guy had screamed anything before opening fire, and after that, the men went to attend a meeting of the county water board.
According to a spokeswoman for the Rangers, who refused to disclose any other specifics about the inquiry, the Federal Bureau of Probe, the Border Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations are all cooperating in the investigation.
According to the website of the company that operates more than a dozen private detention facilities in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia, Michael Sheppard worked as the warden of the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca. This facility is run by LaSalle Corrections, which is a company that also operates a site in Sierra Blanca.
Scott Sutterfield, a spokesman for the company, said in an emailed statement that Mr. Sheppard had been “terminated due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment” and that no further details could be provided because of the “ongoing criminal investigation.” Mr. Sheppard had been fired, according to the statement, “due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment.”
Representative Veronica Escobar, whose district includes El Paso and who has been vocal about combating anti-immigration sentiment, has asked the Department of Justice to begin an investigation into what she described as what appears to be a hate crime against migrants. Escobar’s district includes El Paso.