Mexican Man Receives Court Settlement for Border Shooting By Police

A Mexican man will receive $25,000 to settle a suit he filed against the city of San Luis, Ariz., after he was wounded by police who fired on a van filled with illegal immigrants, the city attorney said.

Moises Iniguez Zermeno of San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, was one of 11 passengers in the minivan that was speeding back toward Mexico when the officers opened fire on Aug. 14. Two other passengers were also wounded, according to police.

According to the Border Patrol, the driver of the van had picked up a group of illegal immigrants before the shooting and had turned back toward Mexico after Border Patrol officials began following it.

The Border Patrol radioed San Luis police, and two officers were trying to stop the van when it swerved and tried to run one of the officers down, police said.

The San Luis police previously concluded that Officers Joel Sauceda and Paulino Lara had acted in self-defense. But a subsequent investigation by the Yuma County Sheriff's Office concluded the officers' conduct violated their own department's policies.

City Attorney Glenn Gimbut said he thinks Sauceda and Lara are glad the case is over.

"The officers didn't do anything wrong; they were trying to defend themselves," Gimbut said.

Iniguez Zermeno's Yuma attorneys, James Metcalf and Hayden Hanna, declined to comment on the settlement.