Family of Mexican migrant slain in West Texas seek answers

Oct 5, 2022, 4:36 PM | Updated: 4:43 pm
This booking photo provided by the El Paso, Texas, County Sheriff's Office shows Michael Sheppard, ...

This booking photo provided by the El Paso, Texas, County Sheriff's Office shows Michael Sheppard, one of two Texas brothers who authorities say opened fire on a group of migrants getting water near the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Sheppard was a warden at a detention facility with a history of abuse allegations. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(El Paso County Sheriff's Office via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The family of a migrant authorities say was shot to death in Texas by two brothers — including one who was the warden of a detention facility with a history of abuse allegations — are demanding more information this week, as the two men charged in the killing were released from jail.

Jesús Iván Sepúlveda, 22, of Durango, Mexico, was identified by family members as the man who was killed in the Hudspeth County shooting that also left one woman injured. The woman remained hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, according to a statement from the Mexican Consulate,

Sepúlveda was trying to get to the Texas capital of Austin to reunite with his wife and two children — a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old — and hoped to make enough money to build a home for his family in Mexico, his family said.

“People go (to the U.S.) to follow a dream,” Napoleon Sepúlveda, the victim’s father, told the El Paso Times in Juare z, Mexico, on Tuesday. “And they’re just out there hunting people down.”

DPS said the victims were among a group of migrants drinking water from a reservoir near a road when a truck with two men inside pulled over. The group took cover to avoid being seen, according to court documents, but emerged when the truck backed up.

Witnesses told authorities that one of the men in the truck yelled derogatory terms and revved the engine. The driver then exited the vehicle and fired two shots at the group.

Michael Sheppard, a former warden at the privately run West Texas Detention Facility, which can house immigrant detainees, and his brother Mark Sheppard, both 60, were arrested and charged with manslaughter following the shooting. Both were released on a $250,000 bail each this week, according to the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office.

A voicemail left Wednesday at a number belonging to Mark Sheppard was not immediately returned. No current contact information was immediately available for Michael Sheppard, and it was not clear whether either has retained an attorney.

A spokesman for facility operator Louisiana-based Lasalle Corrections, which runs the West Texas Detention Facility, told The Associated Press last week in an email that Michael Sheppard had been fired as warden “due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment.”

The Mexican Consulate said it was working with local attorneys to seek possible cases for human rights violations. Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League has been notified about the shooting.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat, said Michael Sheppard was warden at the West Texas center during the period examined in a 2018 report by The University of Texas and Texas A&M immigration law clinics and the immigration advocacy group RAICES. The reported cited multiple allegations of physical and verbal abuse against African migrants at the facility.

Information provided by Doggett’s office shows the webpage for LaSalle Corrections listed Sheppard as an employee at West Texas since 2015.

According to the report, the warden “was involved in three of the detainees’ reports of verbal threats, as well as in incidents of physical assault.” The warden cited in the report was not named.

Sepúlveda’s death was the first of two deadly shootings along the U.S.-Mexico border in less than a week.

A Mexican citizen who was in custody was fatally shot at a the Ysleta Border Patrol Station in El Paso on Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, the FBI said.

The Border Patrol said its agents were involved in the shooting, but no details were released about what preceded it. The Mexican Consulate in El Paso said the man who died was a Mexican citizen who was being processed at the station when criminal charges against him were discovered. The FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Kimberly Palmer: Holiday survival tips from 5 financial pros

For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead. In fact, if he sees a gift for one of his two young sons in March, he’ll go ahead and buy it, instead of rushing through his shopping list in December. “It very much eases the burden,” he says, making his December […]
5 hours ago
Elderly residents are evacuated by a local organization from the southern city of Kherson, Ukraine,...
Associated Press

Ukraine on edge for more attacks, West eyes humanitarian aid

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine prepared for more Russian strikes on Monday and warned of the possibility for a new round of evacuations from the capital during a relative lull from the airstrikes on energy facilities and other key infrastructure in recent weeks. In the West, meanwhile, preparations were stepped up to boost humanitarian aid to […]
5 hours ago
Wreaths hang on the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Pho...
Associated Press

‘We the People’ is the White House’s theme for the holidays

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drawing decorating inspiration from America’s founding documents, Jill Biden chose a “We the People” theme to deck the White House halls and to remind Americans of what unites them throughout the year, especially during the holidays. Journalists were given a sneak peek early Monday before the first lady was to unveil the […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Holding cells are visible in a basement of a police station that was used by Russian forces ...
Associated Press

Biden boosts US effort to stem sexual violence in war zones

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is strengthening U.S. policy aimed at stemming sexual violence in war conflict zones, elevating the problem — increasingly documented in Ukraine and elsewhere — to the level of a possible serious human rights abuse that triggers sanctions and other actions against foreign perpetrators. Biden, a Democrat, on Monday will […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ...
Associated Press

Democrats kept the Senate this year, but 2024 may be harder

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrats celebrating a successful effort to keep control of the U.S. Senate this year will soon confront a 2024 campaign that could prove more challenging. The party enters the next cycle defending 23 seats, including two held by independents who caucus with Democrats. That’s compared with just 10 seats that Republicans […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Water levels in Zimbabwe’s biggest dam too low for power

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Electricity shortages that have been plaguing Zimbabwe are set to worsen after an authority that manages the country’s biggest dam said water levels are now too low to continue power generation activities. The Zambezi River Authority, which runs the Kariba Dam jointly owned by Zimbabwe and neighboring Zambia, said in a […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Family of Mexican migrant slain in West Texas seek answers