At 5:00 am on Friday, June 12, five undocumented migrants who had crossed into the United States and were walking through the canyon near Rio Rico, AZ., were shot at with a high powered rifle by two unidentified white males wearing camouflage clothing. "The victims claimed no demands were made. They were just walking and fired upon,” said Sheriff Antonio Estrada. Estrada said when the group ran away from the shooters, one of the men, Manuel Esquer Gomez, 45, from Nogales, Sonora sustained a gunshot wound to the left forearm. As the group continued to run, the men stumbled upon skeletal remains of what they thought were two people.
Deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, along with a U.S. Border Patrol special response team and air support, responded and found the skeletal remains of one man. Documents found on the man identified him as Alberto Donato Lopez, 40, from Puebla, Mexico. Lopez’s body was taken to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tucson to determine the cause of death.
“It is unknown at this time if the deceased was killed or died of natural causes,” Estrada said. “There’s always a concern that these people could possibly be victims of violence.” Estrada said the Border Patrol tracked footprints from the scene of the shooting, but no suspects were found. “At this point we don’t know who they are,” said Estrada. “It’s perturbing to hear of people with high-powered rifles and camouflage. It raises some real red flags.”
This is the second reported shooting attack on migrants since Barbara Coe rallied the crowd at the June 5 Phoenix Rising rally to "Lock and Load."
Note: Unlike Sheriff Paul (Hollywood) Babeu, Sheriff Estrada is properly investigating this shooting as an attack on migrants and reporting the facts immediately to the public vs. refusing to release the 911 tape.
Group of illegal immigrants shot at, 1 wounded near Rio Rico