Drug smugglers opened fire on U.S. law enforcement officers Sunday morning near the Anzalduas International Bridge after Mission police intercepted a 500-pound load of marijuana, police Chief Leo Longoria said.
U.S. law enforcement officers shot back, Longoria said, and no injuries were reported. Details remained hazy Sunday afternoon, and Longoria couldn’t give further information about the brief shootout.
Less than two weeks ago, U.S. law enforcement officers came under fire near Abram and shot back, injuring three smugglers. On June 9, after Texas Rangers, Border Patrol agents and state game wardens were fired upon, they returned more than 300 rounds. The suspects escaped into Mexico on inflatable rafts.
Sunday’s incident began at 9:55 a.m. when a Mission police cruiser attempted to stop a red Chevrolet pickup on Military Road. Instead of pulling over, the pickup fled and a passenger began throwing bundles of marijuana at the police cruiser.
Six police units, several more from the Department of Public Safety and a Border Patrol helicopter were called to assist. As the pickup fled, a green Chevrolet Avalanche with a young woman behind the wheel began harassing officers, Longoria said.
“She went head-on toward a police vehicle,” Longoria said. “We’re trying to see what her intent was, but obviously it was a very reckless action on her part.”
Officers eventually stopped and arrested the woman, whom Longoria described as a 19- or 20-year-old Mission resident with relatives in Reynosa. Longoria said he couldn’t release the woman’s name.
She was likely to be arraigned Monday on charges of evading arrest and possibly assaulting a police officer, among other crimes, Longoria said.
Meanwhile, the two men inside the red pickup drove straight into the Rio Grande, directly underneath the Anzalduas bridge. People armed with rifles waited on the Mexican side of the river, providing cover as the pickup’s occupants escaped into Mexico.
“During that moment, individuals of the criminal element were displaying long rifles and rounds were fired towards the American side,” Longoria said.
U.S. law enforcement officers returned fire, but no injuries were reported.