At least one Mexican gunman fired a high-powered rifle across the border at four U.S. road workers Thursday in an isolated ghost town east of Fort Hancock, Hudspeth County sheriff’s officials said.
The bullets did not injure the four men.
Mike Doyle, chief deputy of the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, said a rancher spotted a white pickup fleeing the area on the Mexican side at 10:30 a.m. — the time the shots were fired.
The bullets stuck private land along the unpaved Indian Hot Springs Road, which is about half a mile from the border fence. Hudspeth County borrowed the land to store gravel and rocks used for road construction. The workers were filling a hole left last year by rainstorm damage.
The ghost town of Fort Quitman is 25 miles east of Fort Hancock and 80 miles southeast of El Paso. Fewer than a dozen ranchers raise cattle in the remote area.
Doyle said the gunman might have shot at the road workers to distract them or get them to flee.
“Maybe they were trying to get them outside this area,” he said.
Doyle said the sheriff and the Texas Rangers at this point are assuming the bullets were fired from Mexico. He said one of the county workers said he heard eight shots that “sounded like high-powered rifles.”
On the Mexican side, the nearest community is Banderas, but there are roads that connect to Ojinaga, right across from Presidio, and also to Juárez.
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