Neighbors Say Human Smuggling Common in Area Where Homeowner Shot Immigrant
MISSION – Some people who live in an area south of Mission are uneasy after a man in the country illegally was shot by a homeowner earlier Tuesday.
A neighbor who saw what happened said close to 3:00 p.m., Border Patrol and a vehicle with 12 people suspected to be in the country illegally stopped at the intersection of Main and Beatty in Mission.
The immigrants abandoned the vehicle running in different directions and after a few minutes, a gunshot was heard.
As the sun goes down over the Mission neighborhood, there's a discernible undercurrent of activity that grew turbulent earlier in the day.
An immigrant man along with a few others ran from the scene of a presumed smuggling attempt foiled by Border Patrol, according to Mission Police who also responded to the incident.
The small group knocked on the door of a homeowner who answered with a handgun and shot in their direction. One immigrant man was struck, and Border Patrol aided him.
Remnants of that activity were left behind; the tension was visible in the neighborhood.
Concertina wire wrapped around a fence, and guard dog spoke more loudly than anything frightened residents could say.
Most weren't willing to speak on camera.
One young woman we spoke with a condition of anonymity said a shooting like this is unusual, but the source is not.
"There's the occasional immigrants who try to hide in somebody's property," she explained. She recalls one family in the area grew tired of the recurring situation. "That family had a lot of issues of hiding in their property. So, they literally just took the whole house away," she added.
She was born and raised in this neighborhood; during that time, she's seen how human smuggling swells occasionally.
"A couple of weeks ago I think, they caught another group of people," the young woman recalls.
Along with the barbed wire fence and 'beware of dogs' signs, there's a constant presence of federal and state law enforcement there.
"You see a lot of border patrols and constables. It feels like for sure, it's going to pick up again," the young woman says.
At one point she moved out of state but she's back now, because with all its pitfalls this neighborhood is home.
We also spoke to a neighbor who knows the property owner involved in the incident.
CHANNEL FIVE NEWS was told the man has a family, and that this kind of incident had never happened there before.