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Starr Co. Authorities Seeking Assistance in Fronton Shooting

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FRONTON – Starr County Sheriff’s investigators said they need backups to investigate a fatal shooting near Fronton.

A 17-year old died and two more men were injured when they were fishing near the riverbanks last month.

The victims claimed more than one person on the Mexican side of the border shot at them using high-powered rifles, according to Starr County Sheriff’s Sgt. Erasmo Rios Jr.

“We’re also sure that these gentlemen have given us no inclination to believe they were doing anything suspicious or illegal. They were just a group of family members out having a good time when they were shot by someone from the Mexican side,” he said.

Rios said the men tried calling 911, but their plea for help went unheard due to a failed signal. U.S. Border Patrol agents were later able to locate them at the scene.

Seventeen-year-old Adrian Espinosa suffered multiple bullet wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fifty-six-year-old Enrique Ramirez and 31-year-old Jose Roberto Pena were taken to a McAllen hospital for surgery.

Rios said solving an investigation that involves two countries isn’t easy.

“It makes it definitely a lot more difficult, especially when you have to abide by different regulations or rules that the other country may bring,” he said.

The investigator said he wants to see more being done on a national level to help solve the case.

“Why this hasn’t gotten more national recognition is beyond me because this – in fact, a United States citizen was shot and was killed,” he said.

Local, federal and international agencies are investigating.

The motive remains unknown.

Rios said the sheriff’s department added extra patrols to the area since the shooting. 

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