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Shot at the Border: One Man's Story

Jesus Castro Romo crossed the border early one November morning in 2010 to get to Tucson for a landscaping job. He said he was chased down by the Border Patrol and shot.

Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer sits down for an interview on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer sits down for an interview on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

"Once you introduce politics into the criminal justice system," said Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer, "you no longer have a criminal justice system."  On Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Once you introduce politics into the criminal justice system," said Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer, "you no longer have a criminal justice system." On Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photo by Brad Racino

Since being shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in November 2010, Jesus Castro Romo has been walking with a cane.  "With time… the nerve will be crooked. That is how I will remain," he said on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Since being shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in November 2010, Jesus Castro Romo has been walking with a cane. "With time… the nerve will be crooked. That is how I will remain," he said on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo speaks with legal investigator Marcelo Ruiz and reporter Roxana Popescu at his home in Nogales, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Jesus Castro Romo speaks with legal investigator Marcelo Ruiz and reporter Roxana Popescu at his home in Nogales, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo takes various pills for various kinds of pain.
"I am in pain all the time," he says.  "The medicines have no effect" on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Jesus Castro Romo takes various pills for various kinds of pain. "I am in pain all the time," he says. "The medicines have no effect" on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo's various pain medications lie in a bin on his dining room table.  "They told me to go to the center for pain (management) so that I would not take pills anymore because they are affecting my stomach," he said.  "Since the
medications are strong, they can cause me side effects on my pancreas or kidneys. They are already affecting me, and it is best to go to a place where mentally I can cure my pain more with the mind. So that I am not in pain."  On Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Jesus Castro Romo's various pain medications lie in a bin on his dining room table. "They told me to go to the center for pain (management) so that I would not take pills anymore because they are affecting my stomach," he said. "Since the medications are strong, they can cause me side effects on my pancreas or kidneys. They are already affecting me, and it is best to go to a place where mentally I can cure my pain more with the mind. So that I am not in pain." On Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo's scar is a reminder of the shooting, and the three operations that followed. He says he can no longer work as a result of his injuries.
"I have acquired an angry disposition," he says, "because I am locked up since I cannot work. I feel like exploding, desperate, because I cannot work," on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Jesus Castro Romo's scar is a reminder of the shooting, and the three operations that followed. He says he can no longer work as a result of his injuries. "I have acquired an angry disposition," he says, "because I am locked up since I cannot work. I feel like exploding, desperate, because I cannot work," on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

This room is where Jesus Castro Romo spends much of his time.
"Here, I spend my time in bed watching television… They call me the soap opera guy," said Castro Romo on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

This room is where Jesus Castro Romo spends much of his time. "Here, I spend my time in bed watching television… They call me the soap opera guy," said Castro Romo on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo, 39, claims a Border Patrol agent beat him, hurled insults at him and then shot him in the side before riding away. Castro Romo says he waited in the desert for an hour and a half, bleeding through his clothes, thinking about his children and preparing himself for death. An emergency crew returned and airlifted him to University Medical Center in Tucson. In January 2012, Castro Romo sued the U.S. government in January.

Jesus Castro Romo, 39, claims a Border Patrol agent beat him, hurled insults at him and then shot him in the side before riding away. Castro Romo says he waited in the desert for an hour and a half, bleeding through his clothes, thinking about his children and preparing himself for death. An emergency crew returned and airlifted him to University Medical Center in Tucson. In January 2012, Castro Romo sued the U.S. government in January.

Photo by Brad Racino

Jesus Castro Romo's attorney, William Risner, says, "The Border Patrol could do a better job of checking their agents, training them better, actually do things to make them do a better job, where it's safer for the people they encounter," on Thursday, June 29, 2012.

Jesus Castro Romo's attorney, William Risner, says, "The Border Patrol could do a better job of checking their agents, training them better, actually do things to make them do a better job, where it's safer for the people they encounter," on Thursday, June 29, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

Despite a drop in apprehensions of illegal immigrants, altercations involving border patrol agents and migrants have risen in recent years. Rock throwing by migrants at agents grew by almost 25% between 2007 and 2010 according to data from Customs and Border Protection. And fatal shootings of migrants by agents have also grown steadily, from 1 in 2008 to 5 in 2011.

Despite a drop in apprehensions of illegal immigrants, altercations involving border patrol agents and migrants have risen in recent years. Rock throwing by migrants at agents grew by almost 25% between 2007 and 2010 according to data from Customs and Border Protection. And fatal shootings of migrants by agents have also grown steadily, from 1 in 2008 to 5 in 2011.

Photo by Brad Racino

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