Seven people have been killed and at least six others have been injured after a car plowed into a crowd outside a shelter serving migrants and homeless people in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday, and investigators believe it may have been intentional, according to authorities, APA reports citing the Guardian.
The car went into the crowd about 8.30am at a bus stop near the Ozanam Center, said the police department in Brownsville, which is near Texas’s border with Mexico. That came four days before the scheduled expiration of Title 42, the Covid-19 era policy that allows border patrol agents to swiftly expel migrants at the US’s southern border.
Police lieutenant Martin Sandoval told the news outlet Valley Central that seven victims died at the scene, and several others were rushed to nearby hospitals.
Video footage posted online showed crowds of people at the scene while clothes and other personal items were strewn all over the road. Several people appeared to be tending to an individual who was lying on a grassy area.
Sandoval said the driver was arrested and booked on a count of reckless driving. More charges are likely to be filed in what officers strongly suspect may have been an intentional act, Sandoval added.
Two days before that arrest in Brownsville, the US homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said that immigration authorities faced “extremely challenging” circumstances along the border with Mexico days before the end of asylum restrictions implemented through Title 42 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A surge of Venezuelan migrants through south Texas, particularly in and around the border community of Brownsville, has occurred over the last two weeks for reasons that Mayorkas said were unclear.
On Thursday, 4,000 of about 6,000 migrants in border patrol custody in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley were Venezuelan.