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Texas Warden Arrested For Rural Fatal Shooting of Migrant

The warden of what was once one of the nation’s most notorious immigration detention facilities was arrested this week after allegedly killing one migrant and wounding another in the desert of rural West Texas. Michael Sheppard — who until this week oversaw U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca, Tx., — and his twin brother, Mark, were arrested late Wednesday night. According to affidavits filed Thursday, at least four people were walking along a roadway deep in the desert when the Sheppard brothers approached in a pickup truck around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the Intercept reports.


The group of migrants took cover near a water tank. According to the surviving witnesses, the men in the vehicle shouted profanities at them and told them in Spanish to come out. They revved their engine. The driver leaned across the hood and fired at least two shots. One man was struck in the head and killed. A woman was shot in the gut but survived. The Sheppards said they were simply out hunting — at first claiming that they were looking for grouse, and later that they were after javelina. They said they made no effort to determine what they had shot and left the scene for a county board meeting. The pair were arrested the following night and charged with manslaughter.

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