Early Sunday morning in Brownsville, Texas, a tragedy unfolded instantly. An SUV careened into a group of predominantly Venezuelan men waiting at a bus stop across from the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a migrant shelter. Eight people have died from a moment of horrific violence, with several others injured.
Witnesses to the act described the driver as a Hispanic male, swearing and shouting insults in the moments before he sped towards the group. A video posted to social media captured the SUV hurtling out of control as it veered onto the curb and plowed into the people sitting there. The driver emerged unscathed despite flipping over and careening forward for another 200 feet.
With the crash being considered an intentional act, the driver has since been arrested and is currently under guard watch around the clock. He is also being tested for alcohol and drug use. Depending on the outcome of the tests, the driver may face additional charges.
Emergency personnel were on hand to attend to the victims, with seven people dying at the scene and one later at the hospital. Six others were taken to the hospital. The incident sparked a flurry of enforcement and humanitarian response from local, state, and federal agencies in the wake of the recent surge of border crossings.
The aftermath of this devastating incident is cause for great sorrow. The loss of eight lives is heartbreaking, a reminder of the struggles and dangers that many migrants face in pursuit of a better life. Moving forward, there is an urgent need to offer better support and protection for the vulnerable and in need.