- 7 people were killed and 6 more were injured after a car crashed into pedestrians outside a migrant shelter in Texas.
- Police have one male suspect in custody and are investigating if it was intentional.
- The victims were mostly men from Venezuela, according to the shelter’s director.
Seven people died and six more were injured on Sunday after a man drove his car into a group of pedestrians standing near a shelter for migrants and homeless people in Brownsville, Texas, a community on the Mexican border.
According to ABC News, police have a male suspect in custody in connection to the crash who is being tested for alcohol and drug use. Martin Sandoval, a Brownsville Police Department investigator, told the local ABC affiliate that they are investigating whether the crash was intentional.
Victor Maldonado, shelter director for the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center where the crash happened, told The Associated Press that he watched security camera video of the crash. He said it shows a bus stop near the shelter that is not marked and has no bench, so the victims were sitting along the curb.
The Ozanam Center is the only overnight shelter in Brownsville and Maldonado said in the past few months they have been receiving about 250 to 380 migrants per day. Most of the victims in the crash were Venezuelan men, according to Maldonado.
Asylum seekers and other migrants from South America have flooded the southern border in recent months and years as they flee gang violence and other threats to their lives in their home countries.
US Customs and Border Protection reported that in March, the number of “unique individuals” encountered at the border was more than 120,000, up from about 100,000 people in February. In April, US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said CBP apprehended more than 22,000 people in one 72-hour period.
The influx comes as the federal government is set to adopt a new regulation on May 11 that will deny asylum to migrants who pass through another country on their way to the United States without seeking protection elsewhere first, or who use illegal paths to enter the United States.
The migrant crisis is a highly-politicized problem in the United States. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has made a spectacle of busing migrants from Texas to northern cities like Chicago and New York, Insider previously reported.
The Brownsville Police Department did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Sunday, but the police spokesperson said more information about the incident would be posted soon to the police department’s Facebook page.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.