Zapata County Sheriff: Gunmen Open Fire On U.S. Couple
Sep 30, 2010
Oct 1, 2010
One person is believed to be dead and another shaken up after a group of men reportedly opened fire on a couple from Colorado on Falcon Lake. Officials said the couple is originally from Colorado but was currently living in McAllen, Texas.
"I heard the helicopters and was wondering what was going on,” said Zapata resident Shirley Bell.
Helicopters and several U.S. Border Patrol agents on boats could be see throughout Falcon Lake.
"It's kind of like living in a war zone," said Bell.
Zapata County Sheriff, Zigifredo Gonzalez said a woman in her late 20's and her husband went jet skiing on the Mexican side of the lake in international waters.
"They had been to Guerrero Viejo, the old church and were about 5 minutes away from there coming back to the U.S.,” said Gonzalez. “When they they were accosted by those individuals in boats."
Sheriffs received the call shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday. The woman told investigators four boats with a group of armed men began shooting several rounds at her and her husband.
"Her husband was shot in the back of the head and he was lying out there somewhere in the water,” Gonzalez said.
The woman said she tried to pick up her husband and put him on her jet ski but was unable to.
"They kept shooting at her also. She had to abandon the body,” Gonzalez added. "The bullets came real close to hitting her, she was seeing them landing on the water, but she was not hit."
According to authorities, the woman was able to escape unharmed and get help.
Agents could be seen using binoculars and diving in the water as they looked for any evidence.
"We cannot go into Mexico otherwise we would've already,” Gonzalez said. “I'd like to go out there and try to retrieve that body. Obviously the way things are in the border we would have to be very well armed to protect ourselves.”
Gonzalez said the man believed to be dead is 30 year-old David Hartley. DPS and other agencies are assisting in this investigation.
The Sheriff also told Pro 8 News they have contacted the Mexican Consulate in Laredo and other Mexican authorities to assist them.