Authorities in Texas say that dozens of people were recovered from a tanker trailer following a multiple agency police pursuit on Friday.
The incident occurred on the evening of Friday, March 11, in Webb County, north of Laredo, Texas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) says that a truck hauling a tanker trailer bypassed a border checkpoint on U.S. 83.
The driver refused to stop, leading border patrol agents on a pursuit until Texas DPS officers took over the pursuit of the truck.
As the truck entered La Salle County, Texas DPS troopers deployed tire deflation devices.
La Salle County Sheriff’s Deputies joined the pursuit as the driver entered I-35 north.
From the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office:
As a common practice several other La Salle County Deputies began blocking exits into Cotulla to prevent endangering local community travelers. The vehicle drove through the grassy median determined to drive through Main St., Cotulla. Again deputies placed themselves ahead of the vehicle in a desperate attempt to block the truck tractor from driving through, at the time, busy Main Street.
The vehicle drove through several neighborhoods before striking a State Trooper’s vehicle and a La Salle County patrol vehicle. After the vehicular assault of several law enforcement officers deadly force was used. The driver of the truck tractor then struck another State Trooper’s vehicle before coming to a stop.
NEW: A human smuggler driving a tanker trailer was shot several times after he rammed multiple law enforcement vehicles during a pursuit in Cotulla, TX last night. @TxDPS troopers and a La Salle County deputy opened fire. Smuggler survived. 62 migrants recovered. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/TxsEFgNU5T
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 12, 2022
The driver of the tanker was struck by gunfire but survived.
A Texas DPS trooper was also injured during the pursuit. The trooper was reported in stable condition.
Police discovered 62 people unharmed inside the tanker and referred them to U.S. Border Patrol.
The identity of the person driving the tanker has not been released, but police say that the person is a U.S. citizen with a history of human smuggling.
The incident remains under investigation by Texas DPS – Texas Ranger Division.