June 5, 2023

A driver ran into pedestrians who were standing at a bus stop outside a migrant shelter in South Texas, killing seven, in an incident that police are investigating as possibly intentional, authorities said Sunday. Another 10 were injured, Brownsville police spokesman Martin Sandoval said. 

Sandoval told CBS affiliate KRGV that officers received a call at around 8:30 a.m. local time reporting an incident, which, they determined later, involved a Land Rover that “ran over several people” as they waited at the stop near Ozanam Center, a shelter for migrants and unhoused people in Brownsville, Texas. Witnesses said that the driver disregarded a red light before swerving into the bus stop and rolling over, Sandoval said. 

Police found seven individuals already dead when they arrived at the scene, Sandoval said.

At least some of the people who were killed were confirmed to be migrants, Sandoval said. 

Officers detained the driver of the Land Rover, who was “receiving medical care” when Sandoval spoke to KRGTV on Sunday afternoon, he said at the time. The driver is expected to face criminal charges, at least for reckless driving.

“But more than likely there’s going to be other charges coming on later on in the day,” Sandoval told the news station. “We’re also doing our due diligence, which means we’re actually trying to see if he’s intoxicated or not intoxicated. So we’re running all those tests as well.”

Police work at the scene after a driver crashed into several people in Brownsville, Texas, on May 7, 2023.

MOISES AVILA/AFP via Getty Images

Myrna Arteaga, the manager of the Ozoman Center, called the incident “horrific.” She said the shelter receives about 80-120 migrants per day. 

“It wasn’t an accident,” Arteaga said. 

Several roads were closed after the incident. 

An investigation into the deadly incident is ongoing, but witnesses told police that “the car lost control” when it occurred.

“Now, whether we know if it was an accident or intentional, that is still under investigation,” Sandoval said. The spokesperson noted that people who witnessed it “started helping some of the individuals there” and detained the driver themselves while waiting for police to arrive at the scene. 

Brownsville police shared few details in their latest update on the crash, which Sandoval characterized as “a major accident” in a video message shared to the department’s Facebook page.

“We have all the roads blocked off, so we’re asking people to please find alternative routes,” he said. “Like I said … at 8:30 in the morning, we received a call about an accident. As far as for right now, that’s all the information we have. But we’ll be having more information if you keep following us here on this channel.

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