For South Texans, Home Means Roadside Searches, High-Speed Chases and Helicopter Shootings
The red pickup truck tears down the country road, mesquite trees and untamed brush all around. It bears a heavy load in the back, which officials later said provoked Texas game wardens to suspect drugs and give chase. Within minutes, a helicopter carrying state troopers — including a sharpshooter — joins the pursuit near a small town in the Rio Grande Valley on the border with Mexico.
“It’s got a tarp with what looks like [drug] bundles,” a voice says over the two-way radio. More details are supplied: southbound at 80 mph. The truck makes several turns before heading east on an unpaved road, according to an audio recording of the pursuit obtained by KRGV-TV, a local station. The truck charges east on Mile Seven. “We have a clear spot.” The radio goes silent for 14 seconds. Sharpshooter Miguel Avila takes aim at the pickup truck. “Shots fired! Shots fired!”