Border Patrol Agent Accidentally Shot Suspected Smuggler While Trying To Detain Him, Officials Say

(Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot a suspected human smuggler while attempting to detain him near the Arizona border, officials say.

The agent accidentally shot Ronaldo Ledezma-Avila after he allegedly attempted to flee Border Patrol officials in a Chrysler 300, The Washington Times reported. After spikes blew out his tires, Ledezma-Avila’s vehicle came to a stop, and border patrol officials proceeded with what court documents characterize as a “high-risk approach” toward the suspect. During the approach, one of the agents “had an accidental discharge of his weapon,” Homeland Security Investigations Agent Jorge D. Rodriguez told the outlet.

Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident, the Times noted.

Ledezma-Avila was “transported to a hospital by EMS, and four individuals were taken into Border Patrol custody,” according to a release obtained by the Daily Caller. According to one of the illegal immigrants detained during the stop, the bullet entered the windshield of Ledezma-Avila’s car and struck the smuggler in the arm, the Times reported.

Agents were alerted to the vehicle after noticing the car was registered in Phoenix but driving around a remote southern area of Arizona. When they spotted the car again, hours later, agents noticed there were people in the vehicle who appeared to be slumping down as if not wanting to be seen, the Times reported. (RELATED: Illegal Immigrants Believe The Border Is ‘Open’ Under Biden, Official Tells Congress)

When Ledezma-Avila allegedly drove through the checkpoint without stopping, agents utilized a spike strip which disabled the vehicle, the outlet stated.

Ledezma-Avila reportedly admitted to smuggling immigrants, telling officials he had been recruited on Snapchat and promised $1,200 per person transported, according to the Times.