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DA: Grand jury to consider Texas chopper shooting

McALLEN, Texas — A grand jury will consider the case of two Guatemalan immigrants killed when a Texas state trooper in a helicopter opened fire to stop a tarp-covered truck that authorities thought was ferrying drugs near the Mexico border, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said after meeting with Texas Rangers that the case ‘‘will be taken to a grand jury, there’s no doubt about that.’’ He added that he asked the investigators to tell the state Department of Public Safety that shooting from helicopters should be suspended until policies are reviewed.

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On Oct. 25, a public safety helicopter joined state game wardens near La Joya in pursuit of what they thought was a drug-laden truck barreling down a rural gravel road. Instead, the tarp concealed six passengers, including the two Guatemalans who died. La Joya is about 250 miles south of San Antonio.

A trooper aboard the helicopter fired in an effort to disable the truck. Later it was discovered that there were no drugs in the truck.

The only charge Guerra would confirm was a felony evading arrest for the driver, whom he described as a boy about 14 years old. The boy was detained and later released to a grandmother, he said.

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