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Autopsy: US Border Patrol Shot Mexican Teen José Antonio Elena Rodríguez 7 Times in the Back

Remembering José Antonio Elena Rodríguez at the spot he was shot dead by US Border Patrol agents. (Photo: El Universal)

Remembering José Antonio Elena Rodríguez at the spot he was shot dead by US Border Patrol agents. (Photo: El Universal)

An autopsy report has revealed that US Border Patrol agents shot a Mexican teen eight times, with all but one of the bullets entering through the boy’s back.

José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, was shot and killed by US Border Patrol agents firing from Nogales, Arizona across the border into Sonora last October 10. According to a Border Patrol statement, Rodríguez was shot after agents responded to reports of suspected drug smugglers dropping packages on the Arizona side of the border just before midnight. The alleged smugglers then retreated back into Mexico and “began assaulting the agents with rocks.” After warning the Mexicans to stop, an unnamed agent fired across the border. Rodríguez was hit and photos showed the lifeless boy lying face-down on a sidewalk just south of the border fence.

José Antonio Elena Rodríguez lies dead after being shot 7 times in the back. (Photo: The Brown Watch)

José Antonio Elena Rodríguez lies dead after being shot 7 times in the back. (Photo: The Brown Watch)

Reuters reports that the Mexican medical examiner’s report, which was obtained by a lawyer for Rodríguez’s family, reveals that the boy was shot in the head, neck and body by at least seven bullets fired from behind him. The report also listed several other bullet wounds, some of which may have been exit wounds.

“The only way I can fathom that report is that he was lying on his face when he was hit,” the family’s lawyer said.

Democracy Now! reports that it is also debatable whether Rodríguez was involved in any rock throwing, since the top of the border fence is 40 feet above the point where the incident occurred. Planet Nogales published this photo of the location of the fatal shooting.

The Associated Press reports that Nogales, Mexico Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz said Rodríguez died in a “hail of bullets” in a “deplorable” incident that should be investigated by US and Mexican authorities.

The US government is reportedly reviewing Border Patrol policies regarding the use of deadly force in the wake of multiple fatal border shootings involving agents.

On October 12, 2012, a plain-clothes agent shot and killed 32-year-old Valeria Alvarado, a mother of five, after she allegedly struck him with a car and continued to drive with him on the hood.

A month earlier, a Border Patrol agent riding in a boat shot and killed Guillermo Arévalo Pedroza, 36, who agents claim was throwing rocks. His family says he was in a park grilling fajitas.

Last July 9, 30-year-old Juan Pablo Perez Santillan was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent in Matamoros, just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas. Once again, rock throwing was cited.

In March 2011, 19-year-old marijuana smuggler Carlos la Madrid was fatally shot four times in the back and shoulder while attempting to climb over the border wall and return to Mexico. Rocks were being thrown at Border Patrol agents from the Mexican side of the wall.

Rodríguez is the second Mexican child killed by US Border Patrol agents in Nogales in recent years. In January 2011, 17-year-old Ramses Barron was shot dead during yet another alleged rock throwing incident.

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