Here's an excerpt from BORDER ALLIANCE....
Angie gave me a very strange look, like I was panicking over absolutely nothing. Then she saw the truck behind us and I saw her eyes open wide with surprise and fear. “Fuck!” She exclaimed. I’d never heard her, Marie or any of the other agents use this type of vulgar language, which was relatively normal for my agency and most cops, depending on the circumstances.
In front of us the driver of the police car, a young man who was probably related to Captain Martinez, was laying on his horn. The truck that had blocked the road looked empty. I wondered why I hadn’t seen the driver get out. But I hadn’t. I looked behind us and that truck also looked to be vacated.
“What in the hell is going on?” Horton asked, irritation showing in his voice, which surprised me because I wasn’t mad, I was scared.
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“We’re being set up for a hit!” I yelled, and the fear was more than obvious in my voice.
Suddenly the sound of multiple, fully automatic weapons echoed down the street. Two men were standing on either side of the truck in front of us firing their weapons into the police car. The glass exploded and I knew that neither officer had any chance for survival.
We were nearly helpless. We had no weapons to at least give us a fighting chance. None. When a U.S. law enforcement officer goes into Mexico they almost always have to leave their weapons on the U.S. side. Our situation was no different. There wasn’t any violence expected whatsoever. We had a high-ranking police Captain as an escort so everyone was sure we wouldn’t be bothered. Everyone except those that were in the trucks in front and behind us. Great. “Get out of the vehicle!” I ordered, opening my door and staying as low as possible. They weren’t shooting at us, yet.
“It’s safer in the car!” Horton yelled back.
I wasn’t going to argue. “We’re sitting ducks in here. Marie, Angie get out!” Right beside us was a grocery store. People were standing at the two large glass windows looking out as if they were watching a bull fight. No one seemed afraid or even moved away from the window. We had to be no more than a block from the Rio Grande. A block and a river from getting back to safety.
Both women were frozen. I opened Marie’s door and literally pulled her out. “We don’t even have a gun!” She screamed, stunned by the turn of events. Just as she said this the back window of the sedan exploded and I heard a scream. Shit!
I pulled Marie to the front of the car, pointed to the store and screamed, “Run!” She hesitated a second, giving me a curious look, but with a physical push she sprinted across the small road and through the door to safety, for at least a few seconds.
I heard Angie’s whimper and turned to her. She was struggling to get out of the car but was having issues with such an easy task. I knew immediately she’d been hit. I rushed around, listening to the automatic weapon fire that seemed so far away. It didn’t click that they were still shooting at us. As I grabbed Angie, I saw Horton. The back of his head was bloody and I could see he was no longer with us. I pulled Angie out of the car and made her sprint across the street. Bullets began hitting the road and the store. The people that had been looking out the windows, thinking they were safe, were now fleeing toward the back of the store. We were right there with them.
“Marie!” I screamed once inside the store, but I didn’t see her at first. Then she appeared out of one of the aisles. “Go for the river. It’s just a bit that way!” I yelled.
Marie nodded her head in agreement and together the three of us ran to the back of the store. We ran past a dozen women and children who were gathered in an aisle at the back. They just stared at us as we ran by. The store had to have a loading bay and luckily it was open. Just as we were exiting the large entrance, the echo of gunfire returned, followed by the screaming of the women and children that were in the store. We couldn’t do anything for them.
Out the back of the store, I continued to pull Angie along. We didn’t have the luxury of stopping to see how bad she was hurt. We had to just run. The small alley had the store on one side and what appeared to be a cardboard trailer court on the other. I zigzagged through the dilapidated homes. Kids mainly, but a few women were outside and stopped to stare at the three Americans running through their yards. No one yelled at us, only watching as if we were space aliens.
On the other side of the cardboard home park there was an area of high grass and then the river! “The river’s only a few yards!” I yelled as I pushed Angie forward. Marie was on her opposite side and also pushed her forward.
“I can’t swim very well!” Angie cried out, and suddenly tried to stop.
“We’ll make it. Trust me,” I was hoping to encourage her. Blood had completely soaked her right arm and right side. I didn’t know where the bullet had entered but she was still able to run even with the loss of this much blood. Mexican’s crossed the river all the time. They used small rafts, floaties and even gallon jugs for buoyancy. I hoped there would be something like that at the river.
Angie was slowing as we reached the river’s edge. Suddenly the brush above and to our side whistled, signifying that bullets were flying through it. The echoing of the guns followed swiftly. We would be sitting ducks in the river. I didn’t know what to do.
There was a trail, well beaten by who knows how many would-be immigrants, that led up and down the river. The area next to the river was heavily brushed, allowing us to have a lot of cover. I looked up and down the river and saw an island that sat about midway between the U.S. and Mexican sides of the river. It was only another hundred yards down the river and we would have the cover of the brush to hide us from our assailants.
I stopped and looked Marie in the eyes and gave her a tight-lipped smile I hoped would be reassuring, but I doubt it was. Then I looked at Angie who was dripping blood from her arm. We couldn’t disappear if they had an easy blood trail to follow. I ripped my shirt off and wrapped it around the wound on her arm, which seemed to exit somewhere near her tricep. This stopped the blood from dripping for the moment. “Stay in the grass for a while!” I ordered. Both women seemed to understand that we didn’t want to leave footprints that were too obvious. We hurried to the bank of the river, disappearing into the brush.
There were no more shots, but whoever they were, they hadn’t given up. They were paid for our heads and to allow us to escape probably meant they would pay with their own lives. That was the choice they made for money. I intended to make it as difficult as possible to kill us.
We scurried down the bank to the river like rats escaping a predator. Angie wasn’t crying nor was she talking or moaning. She was in shock. Great. I heard a truck and looked up to see two Border Patrol vehicles on the opposite side. One of the drivers was out with his binoculars pointed at us! He was just downriver. The second vehicle was coming upriver toward us. If only we could make it to the halfway point, then we’d be safe!
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