Shooting Reported Near Rio Grande In Catarina: Rancher Fears For Life
Mar 8, 2011
Mar 9, 2011
He says his Catarina ranch has attracted drug smugglers before, who continuously knock down fences as they look for a way to enter the United States. However an encounter over the weekend between a neighboring rancher and smugglers turned violent, leaving him outraged and fearing for his life. Our Annette Garcia spoke with him and has the story. It’s a Pro8News exclusive. “Very definitely. The person that I contacted at the sheriffs department says there was an incident. Couldn’t confirm a fatality.” Dimmit County sheriffs, not confirming a fatality but this anonymous rancher from Catarina says he knows there were at least injuries Saturday night. The night, he says a neighboring ranch foreman confronted smugglers on his property similar to this one along the Rio Grande. “Apparently it was a massive fire fight. They were left out there in the middle of the night. I’m very concerned.” He fears he could be the next victim. “I keep an AR 15 and 357 magnum in my tractor. I’ve had people come through my property on a couple of occasions.” “I fix the fence and they knock it down again.” Webb County Sheriff's officials have confirmed they are investigating the case. A spokesperson says there was an exchange of gunfire between the foreman and suspects, but says no one was injured and no one was arrested. The rancher we spoke to says he didn’t expect authorities to say much. He says the same situation is happening at ranches along the border and it's time for something to be done. “I don’t think we're beyond calling the military. When they had the National Guard a few years ago, certainly they have the resources to really patrol or keep active.” He says he's disappointed the U.S. Government hasn't provided enough funding for more agents and officers to protect its lands and improve the situation. “I don’t think they’re getting better.” “We need to take more direct control rather than working through the Mexican government. Taking out our own initiative. Taking the fight to the guys.” Webb County Sheriff's officials say they are still investigating the incident. They say the exchange of gunfire happened Sunday afternoon and no one was injured. The suspects, they say, apparently drove their vehicle on Highway 83 towards Laredo after the incident but have not been arrested. We are still waiting on an official press release for more details.