Two Texas brothers who shot at migrants, killing one, were arrested and charged on Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The two brothers identified as Mike and Mark Sheppard, were charged with manslaughter and detained in the El Paso County Jail without bail. “According to the preliminary investigation, a truck with two men inside stopped and fired at a group of immigrants who were collecting water while standing next to the road,” said DPS Lt. Elizabeth Carter.
At least four people were walking alongside a road in the desert when the Sheppard brothers drove up in a pickup truck. The two brothers screamed profanities and fired at least two rounds, one of which killed a man and injured a woman, according to witnesses who are still alive.
Mike Sheppard, one of the two brothers who fired shots at the migrants, worked as a warden at the Sierra Blanca, West Texas Detention Center. The institution is a privately run detention facility that has held migrants in the past in cooperation with the federal authorities but hasn’t detained anyone since 2019.
Up until this week, Mike Sheppard was employed at the detention facility. According to Scott Sutterfield, a representative for LaSalle Corrections, “The warden of the West Texas Detention Center, Sierra Blanca, TX, has been terminated due to an off-duty event unrelated to his position.”
A number of allegations of abuse were made against Mike Sheppard prior to last week’s crime. The FBI even got involved because some of the claims against him were so serious.
Mike Sheppard, one of the two Texas brothers who shot at migrants, has a history of abusing African migrants and asylum seekers.
In 2018, Mike Sheppard was charged with participating in and supervising the mistreatment of a group of African migrants and asylum seekers.
Thirty (30) men from Somalia who were subjected to sexual abuse, pepper spray, beaten and taunted with racial slurs by officers acting under Sheppard’s command described it as a “week of hell” in conversations with legal advocates.
Mike Sheppard is also accused of participating in these incidents and using racial slurs, such as “Shut your Black ass up.” You deserve nothing at all. You should be in the back of that cage, boy. I’ll show you. You’re my bitch, and you’re now mine, boy.”
Mike Sheppard continued to work at the Texas Detention Center despite complaints being made to the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and local authorities until last week’s incident that got him fired.
Violence directed at migrants has long been a problem. Texas Public Radio reports that another incident occurred last week on a Wednesday morning when a man named Erik Garibaldi, 26, shot a migrant in the face. It is unclear at this point whether the two shootings were linked.