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US National Guard Soldier Shoots, Injures Migrant in Texas

President Joe Biden walks with US Border Patrol agents along a stretch of the US-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Jan. 8, 2023.

U.S. officials say a National Guard member in the Southwestern U.S. state of Texas shot and injured a migrant who was trying to escape from immigration authorities.

Federal officials say the shooting, which was first reported jointly by The Texas Tribune and the Military Times, took place early Monday in Abram, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.

According to the joint report, border agents found four migrants in an abandoned house before dawn Monday. Three of the migrants surrendered, but a fourth tried to escape and was shot in the shoulder by a member of the Texas National Guard.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the migrant, whose nationality has not been revealed, was taken to a hospital and released later that day.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said a state police agency, the Texas Rangers, is leading an investigation into the shooting.

The National Guard member involved in the shooting was deployed to the border as part of Operation Lone Star, launched by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott in 2021. The operation partners guard members with state police to help manage the influx of migrants at the border.

Stars and Stripes reported that soldiers in the operation can use the minimum force necessary for self-defense or in the defense of others, according to training materials for the operation.

The shooting is the first known incident since the operation began in which a soldier has shot and injured a migrant, according to The Texas Tribune and the Military Times.

Stars and Stripes reported that a U.S. solider fired a rifle while on patrol in January 2022, but no one was injured. Also that month, a service member who was kicked in the face by a migrant aimed a weapon at the migrant but did not fire, according to the outlet.

Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.