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Border Patrol Sued After Agents Fatally Shot Unarmed U.S. Citizen

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A federal lawsuit alleges Border Patrol agents fatally shot an unarmed U.S. citizen who posed no danger. 

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the mother and son of Silvestre Estrada Vargas, 26, who was shot during a traffic stop on May 14, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The suit also alleges excessive force, assault and battery and negligence. 

CBP has not publicly commented on the lawsuit. 

The incident occurred when Border Patrol agents tried to stop the car after believing it was involved in migrant smuggling. A brief pursuit ensued after the driver failed to stop the car .

“A confrontation ensued, resulting in three agents discharging their firearms,” sheriff’s investigators said at the time.

The lawsuit claims Estrada was holding a cell phone in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. 

“The vehicle was stationary, and did not attempt to run down the agents,” the lawsuit states. “The vehicle’s egress was blocked.”

At that point, two backseat passengers “saw and heard bullets whizzing by them and were afraid they would be shot and killed,” according to the lawsuit.

The passengers, who authorities say were in the country illegally, were taken into custody. 


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