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Texas Private Jail Warden, Brother Arrested, Charged With Shooting 2 Migrants

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US Mexico border

On Thursday, Texas Rangers arrested Mike Thomas Sheppard, the warden of the private West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca, and his brother Mark Sheppard in connection with the shooting of two migrants, one of whom died, multiple news outlets reported. The brothers, both 60, are accused of shooting at a group of four migrants from a truck on Tuesday evening.

According to The New York Times, the group was walking along a roadway south of Sierra Blanca before stopping at a water tank. Suddenly, a pickup approached the group and two men emerged and then opened fire as the migrants tried to hide behind the tank.

One man was shot in the head and killed, The Times reported, citing court documents. A woman was shot in the stomach and taken to a hospital, where she is recovering.

The truck was registered to the private company that runs the West Texas detention center and was reportedly assigned to Mike Sheppard at the time of the incident. The facility houses migrants in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Mike Sheppard was fired shortly after his arrest, according to The Times.

“The warden at West Texas Detention Center, Sierra Blanca, TX, has been terminated due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment,” a spokesman for the jail company told the San Antonio Express-News.

Both men were charged with manslaughter, court filings revealed. The FBI, U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations are assisting the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation, the Times reported.