2 Killed in Eloy Ambush Near Smuggling Route, Sheriff Says
Police are looking for several gunmen who opened fire Sunday night near Eloy on a pickup truck loaded with immigrants who officials suspect are in the country illegally. Two of the migrants were killed.
Police don’t know why the gunmen opened fire on the pickup, but the shooting happened in an area commonly used by human smugglers, said Dawn M. Barkman, a spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
In the past, gangs known as bajadores, or rip-off crews, have ambushed groups of illegal immigrants that have just been smuggled across the border in order to hold them for ransom or extort money from them.
Barkman said “every possibility is being investigated.”
She said 20 to 30 migrants were inside the pickup when it was ambushed in a wash on the southern edge of Eloy by several men wearing camouflage clothing. They were armed with rifles.
Police and Border Patrol agents responded about 10:35p.m. Sunday, she said.
They found one of the victims inside the bed of the pickup. The other was found in a nearby wash, Barkman said.