MCALLEN (October 26, 2012)—A Texas state trooper opened fire from a helicopter on a fleeing vehicle Thursday.
Two of the occupants died and a third was wounded, authorities said.
The incident happened Thursday afternoon near the South Texas border with Mexico near the town of La Joya, about 70 miles northwest of Brownsville.
Katherine Cesinger of the Texas Department of Public Safety said a DPS aircraft was deployed to help a state game warden in a high-speed pursuit when the DPS officer on the aircraft opened fire.
On Friday, officials said the trooper who fired at the pickup truck carrying illegal immigrants was trying to disable the speeding vehicle.
They said the truck appeared to be carrying "a typical covered drug load" and was travelling at reckless speeds, endangering the public.
The officer who fired on the truck has been placed on administrative leave.
Eight people were arrested, seven of them illegal immigrants from Guatemala.
The nationalities of the dead and the other detainee were not released.