Family of teen killed in border shooting alleges excessive force, will sue

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The family of a teenager shot and killed in an incident at the border last week says they will file a lawsuit alleging excessive force.

According to Nogales Mayor Ramon Guzman Munoz, Jose Rodriguez, 16, died in "a hail of bullets." He said the teen was hit seven times. Another Mexican official said Rodriguez, pictured above in a photo taken several years ago, was shot in the back.

It happened Wednesday after the Border Patrol received reports of suspected drug smugglers. Agents reportedly saw two people abandon a load of drugs and dart back across the border into Mexico. Those people then began throwing rocks at the agents, ignoring orders to stop.

That's when an agent opened fire.

Police found Rodriguez' body on a sidewalk near the border barrier.

While a Mexican official told The Associated Press the teen was shot by the Border Patrol agent, the Border Patrol has said only that shots were fired that night. The agency has not identified the agent who fired and is not commenting pending the outcome of the investigation.

Rodriguez' family has not said exactly when they will file suit.

Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers, and there are several ongoing investigations into similar shootings in Arizona and Texas.