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Texas DPS Helicopter Shooting Part Of A Pattern

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Aired 12/24/12

Texas Troopers have fired guns from helicopters while pursuing vehicles five times in the past two years, and all but one incident ended in a fatality.

— The Texas Trooper Helicopter shooting on the border in October wasn’t the first time the officers opened fire while in the sky.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers have fired guns from helicopters while pursuing vehicles five times in the past two years, according to new information obtained by The Austin American-Statesman.

Each time the decision was made to open fire, the incident was on the Texas-Mexico border.

And according to the records, only once was shooting successful in ending a chase without inflicting fatalities.

The track record raises questions about the tactic that experts have said is almost unheard of in other law enforcement agencies.

The DPS came under scrutiny for the practice on Oct. 25, when a trooper fired into a pickup racing along a Rio Grande Valley dirt road killing two Guatemalan men.

DPS officials said they suspected the truck was carrying a load of drugs, but none were found.

That shooting has spurred outrage and protests on the border, but DPS officials say they have no plans to end the practice.

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