Tuesday, July 23, 2024

SUV Driver Kills Eight People Waiting for Bus Outside Migrant Shelter in Texas

An SUV driver in Brownsville, Texas, slammed into a crowd, injuring ten people and killing eight waiting for a bus outside a migrant shelter. Police are prepared to arrest the hospitalized driver.

Surveillance video from the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center showed that some victims were sitting on the curb when the driver hit them. Shelter director Victor Maldonado said the SUV ran up the curb, flipped, and continued moving for about 200 feet, hitting people on the sidewalk. Brownsville police investigator Martin Sandoval said police did not know whether the collision was intentional.

“This SUV, a Range Rover, just ran the light about 100 feet (30 meters) away and just went through the people sitting there at the bus stop,” said Maldonado, who reviewed the shelter’s surveillance video.

According to Maldonado, most of the attack’s victims were Venezuelan men. Brownsville has seen a surge of Venezuelan migrants over the last two weeks, and on Thursday, 4,000 of about 6,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley were Venezuelan.

Sandoval said the driver was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained when the car rolled over. There were no passengers in the vehicle, and police didn’t immediately know the driver’s name or age, Sandoval said Sunday afternoon.

Sandoval said there are three possible explanations for the collision: “It could be intoxication; it could be an accident; or it could be intentional. We must eliminate the other two to find out exactly what happened.

The surge in the number of migrants recently has prompted Brownsville commissioners to extend a declaration of emergency.

“We don’t want them wandering around outside,” Pedro Cardenas, a city commissioner, said Sunday after the crash. “So, we’re trying to make sure they’re as comfortable as they can be, so they don’t have to go out and look for anywhere else.”

Maldonado said the center had not received any threats before the crash but did afterward.

“I’ve had a couple of people come by the gate and tell the security guard that the reason this happened was because of us,” Maldonado said.

About 2,500 migrants have crossed through the river in Brownsville in the past few days, Cardenas said. City employees and volunteers guide migrants on how to purchase bus or plane tickets to their final destinations. Cardenas said the city is considering expanding services to accommodate needs in the coming days.

AP News