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Trooper who shot at speeding truck, killing 2, placed on administrative leave

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In what was thought a drug-smuggling operation, a Texas state trooper fired on a moving vehicle from a helicopter, killing two illegal immigrants from Guatemala.

During a car chase through the desert near the town of La Joya, north of the Texas-Mexico border, state police attempted to disable the vehicle, which appeared to be transporting a "typical covered drug load,” Parks and Wildlife Department authorities said Friday.

The police report says the truck was travelling at reckless speeds, the shots were fired and the tires blown out, making the driver to lose control and crash into a ditch, Thursday. The bullets fired from the helicopter also struck the vehicle's occupants. The eight survivors were arrested, and no drugs were found.

The Guatemalan consul in McAllen, Alba Caceres, is demanding federal and state authorities to give a credible explanation. She added that the migrants left Guatemala City nearly three weeks ago, planning to reach their destinations in New York, New Jersey and Houston.

According to testimony of one survivor, the immigrants were covered with a tarp, but as the car sped away, the men "were having lots of trouble holding on to that tarp,” Caceres added. "They (troopers) must have seen them." The agent who fired at the truck has been placed on administrative leave and his name has not been released.

As per a new American Civil Liberties Union report, excessive force by Customs and Border Protection agents, have left at least 20 illegal immigrants dead or seriously injured since January 2010.

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