More than 22 months after a Nogales, Sonora teenager was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent or agents, U.S. investigators visited the site Tuesday to reconstruct the shooting scene.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wallace Kleindienst and Karen Rolley and personnel from the Department of Homeland Security joined members of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR, by its initials in Spanish) in examining the spot on Calle Internacional where Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was shot and killed late on Oct. 10, 2012.
The scene was cordoned off and protected by Nogales, Sonora municipal police, but Elena’s family members and friends, along with rights activists and members of the news media, watched as PGR officers appeared to explain the circumstances of the shooting. They pointed up to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection camera tower that overlooks the area and to the bullet holes that mark the wall behind where Elena’s body was found.
Among the tools employed during the reconstruction was a 3-D laser scanner, which is used to create a computer model of the area so investigators and prosecutors can refer to it in the future.
Elena Rodriguez was shot by an agents or agents who were positioned behind the border fence in Nogales, Ariz. during an alleged drug-smuggling and rock-throwing incident. An autopsy report from Mexican authorities obtained by the NI indicated he was shot as many as 10 times, with all but one bullet entering from the back.
U.S. authorities have yet to issue any public statement on their investigation into the shooting. Last month, Elena Rodriguez’s family filed suit against the Border Patrol in U.S. District Court, alleging that the agents who shot him violated the guarantees of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. His mother, Araceli Rodriguez, said at the time: “The U.S. government has not held the agents who shot my son accountable and that is why I am bringing this lawsuit."
See Friday’s edition for a full story
Correction: An earlier version of this story understated the number of months between the shooting and the arrival of the investigators.