A fisherman from Texas was shot and killed Tuesday night on Falcon Lake, the international reservoir on the Rio Grande that six years ago was the site of a high-profile killing of an American tourist.
Oscar Garza, 26, died of gunshot wounds while fishing on the lake, said Zapata County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Raymundo Del Bosque. Javier Gonzalez, 21, jumped into the water to avoid the gunfire and was taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia, Del Bosque said. Both men are residents of Starr County.
The sheriff’s office received a call at 8:46 p.m. about the shooting, Del Bosque said.
“Two young guys were fishing out on the lake… over by Falcon State Park,” he said. “They were confronted by another boat … and it started escalating and the guys shot at Mr. Garza and Mr. Gonzalez. They fatally injured Mr. Garza, who died there in the boat. Mr. Gonzalez sped away and bullets were hitting the boat. He jumped off the boat to try to hide from the bullets and hide from the gunmen.”
Del Bosque said deputies are working with the Texas Rangers and other agencies to investigate the killing.
He said it’s too early to say if the shooting was carried out by cartel members who operate on the Mexican side of the reservoir. Video from a Border Patrol aerostat should show whether the shooting happened on the Mexican or U.S. side of the lake and where the boat with the gunman went after the incident, Del Bosque said.
In 2010, David Michael Hartley was killed while jet skiing at Falcon. His wife was able to escape and told law enforcement officials they were attacked by gunmen on a boat. The Zetas drug cartel was blamed for the shooting.
Last week, Mexican officials seized more than 6,000 pounds of pot on the lake. According to a press release from the Border Patrol, agents on the U.S. side saw men on the Mexican bank loading bundles onto a boat. They contacted authorities in Mexico, who seized the drugs.