Suspects in migrant shooting went to a meeting after firing fatal shots, police report says

Editor’s note: This story contains explicit language.

EL PASO — After a group of 13 Mexican immigrants had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, they stopped on Tuesday evening to drink out of a reservoir south of Sierra Blanca, a small town in the Chihuahuan Desert nearly 100 miles east of El Paso.

A passing pickup truck stopped and backed up near the migrants, who hid behind brush. Someone from the truck yelled out in Spanish, “Come out you sons of bitches, little asses,” the migrants told police later.

An arrest affidavit from the Texas Department of Public Safety obtained Friday by the Tribune says Michael Sheppard, the warden at a private immigration detention center in Sierra Blanca, then got out of the truck with a shotgun, leaned against the hood and fired two rounds, killing a man and injuring a woman in the group.

“Did you get him?” asked his twin brother, Mark Sheppard, who was also in the truck, according to the affidavit. Mark Sheppard changed “him” to “it” while talking to the officer and claimed the brothers were hunting animals and didn’t know they had fired at people, the affidavit says.

The brothers, both 60, then drove off to a local water board meeting.

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