Border agents shot at while tending to 4-year-old boy tossed over border fence
A harrowing scene broke out earlier this month when Border Patrol agents and first responders attempted to assist a four-year-old migrant child who experienced a jarring arrival into the U.S. near the San Ysidro crossing in San Diego, as illegal entries continue to be largely unabated, as CBS News reports.
According to the New York Post, the youngster had been dropped by a smuggler from the top of a 30-foot-tall section of border wall, just after another, older migrant child cleared the barrier.
Surveillance Footage Released
The event at issue took place on May 15, and startling surveillance video of what occurred was released last week by Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz, as the Daily Mail reports.
In the footage, a child is seen shimmying down an adult's leg, only to fall to the ground, where they wait for others to join them on the U.S. side of the border.
Then, the four-year-old is passed to the adult, who appears to lose their grip on the child, sending the youngster crashing down to the ground, where the boy is eventually picked up and taken down a dirt path for a distance by the rest of the group that had since made its way over the wall. WATCH:
A 4-year-old was dropped from the border barrier by an unknown subject in San Diego, Monday. Responding Agents and EMS providing first aid to the child also reported gunshots near their position while tending to the child. Remarkably, the child is ok! Do not trust smugglers! pic.twitter.com/MlOp2qka72
— Chief Raul Ortiz (@USBPChief) May 22, 2023
Agents, Paramedics Take Gunfire
Ultimately, Customs and Border Patrol agents reached the children and attempted to provide aid to the four-year-old, who they believed may have been injured, according to the Post.
That is when gunfire erupted in the direction of those rendering assistance to the migrants, and the group of border crossers was told to take cover while a Border Patrol helicopter scrambled to offer aerial defenses.
Law enforcement on the Mexican side of the border also worked quickly to help secure the area, as the gunshots were thought to have originated there.
Despite the frenetic scene that ensued, Ortiz posted to social media, “Remarkably, the child is ok,” adding, “[d]o not trust smugglers!”
As the Mail notes, the incident involving the aforementioned four-year-old boy brought to mind for many a similarly disturbing scenario from 2021 in which a pair of young Ecuadorian siblings were also dumped over a border barrier.
The girls, aged three and five, were said to have been abandoned by human traffickers, as the New York Post noted at the time, after they and their belongings were tossed over the wall to land hard on the ground. WATCH:
Smugglers, under cover of night, scaled a 14 ft. border barrier and cruelly dropped 2 young children in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The girls, ages 3 & 5, were left miles from the nearest residence. Thank you STN Agents for rescuing these children! @CBP @CBPWestTexas pic.twitter.com/U91y2g8Lk1
— Anthony “Scott” Good (@USBPChiefEPT) March 31, 2021
Though the sisters were ultimately reunited with their parents in New York City, the incident highlighted the indifference and, arguably, the depravity of those involved in human smuggling, with El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez stating, “If not for the vigilance of our agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of desert environment for hours,” with their survival clearly in jeopardy.
Ongoing Dangers Underscored
The aforementioned scene near the San Ysidro crossing was not the only recent event of its kind in the region over recent days, as CBS News further noted.
On Saturday night, gunfire was also reportedly directed at a Border Patrol supervisor on patrol near the border in the San Ysidro Mountains.
After the agent indicated that he was on the receiving end of gunfire originating from the southwest of where he was situated, surveillance cameras spotted multiple individuals, one of whom looked to be armed with a rifle.
Noting that both scenarios are currently being probed by authorities, the chief patrol agent in the San Diego Sector added, “[w]e are taking these events very seriously and are working with law enforcement partners in the U.S. and Mexico to identify the source of the gunfire,” though it remains to be seen whether any accountability is remotely attainable in a situation that continues to proliferate along the border.