The warden of a federal jail for detained immigrants in West Texas and his twin brother were arrested after allegedly shooting at a group of undocumented migrants walking along a remote roadway on Tuesday, killing one, according to authorities.
Shortly after he was arrested on a manslaughter charge, Michael Sheppard was fired from his position at Sierra Blanca’s privately run West Texas Detention Center, the San Antonio Express-News reported Thursday. A spokesperson told the newspaper that Sheppard had been “terminated due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment.”
Sheppard’s brother, Mark Sheppard, also faces a manslaughter charge after the alleged shooting in Hudspeth County, which borders Mexico.
A source in law enforcement with knowledge of the incident told The New York Times that four migrants had stopped at a water tank near Sierra Blanca when a pickup truck approached them. The group attempted to hide behind the tank as two men got out of the truck and approached. The two men then fired at least two gunshots, the group’s survivors told investigators.
One migrant was hit in the head and killed, while a woman was hit in the stomach, according to the law enforcement official. The woman was reportedly taken to a Del Rio hospital and has since been stabilized.
Aided by U.S. Border Patrol agents, the truck was traced by investigators to LaSalle Corrections, a small private prison firm. It was registered to Michael Sheppard, according to the Express-News.
The Texas Rangers are leading an investigation into the incident, with the FBI, Border Patrol, and a division of Homeland Security assisting, according to a Rangers spokesperson.
Also being probed by the agencies is a Hudspeth County shooting that occurred late Wednesday morning. A 26-year-old man, Erick Garibaldi, was arrested after a state trooper was flagged down by two men along Interstate 10. With the pair was another man with a gunshot wound to the face, according to the El Paso Times.
It was not immediately clear Thursday if the two shootings were connected.