Tijuana Border Officers Shoot Man After Attack During Questioning


A pedestrian denied entry from Mexico was shot and wounded by two U.S. immigration officers at the San Ysidro border crossing after he allegedly threatened them with a broken bottle, authorities said Thursday.

Gerardo Flores Valdivia, a 30-year-old Mexican citizen, was listed in critical condition at UC San Diego Medical Center after the Wednesday night incident.

Officials said the shooting was not connected to stepped-up enforcement by U.S. inspectors at border crossings nationwide to protect against possible millennial acts of terrorism. The Immigration and Naturalization Service and Customs Service assigned more inspectors at San Ysidro and are scrutinizing legal crossers more closely since the arrest last week of an Algerian man entering the United States from Canada with bomb-making gear.


“We’re operating under a heightened state of alert, but this particular incident was in no way related,” said Jim Pilkington, an INS spokesman in San Diego.

The INS said in a statement that Flores claimed to be a U.S. citizen when he arrived about 7 p.m. at the port’s indoor walking entry from Tijuana. But a check of INS computer records showed that Flores was a Mexican citizen deported from the United States on Nov. 1 after a drug-trafficking conviction, Pilkington said.

As two INS officers questioned Flores in an adjoining office, he allegedly tried to stab them with the broken bottle.

The officers fired several shots, hitting Flores, the INS said.

Neither of the INS officers--a supervisor with 11 years’ service and an inspector with two years’ service--was injured.